David Franklin, Scott Ebner, Scott Booth

David Franklin (left) Scott Ebner (middle) Scott Booth (right) 

Hours after Aurora announced the city had chosen three finalists for the city's next permanent police chief, one of them has withdrawn from consideration.  Scott Booth, currently the chief of police in Danville, Virginia, is no longer in the running, according to a news release.

The two remaining finalists are:

  • Scott Ebner, retired lieutenant colonel and Deputy Superintendent of Administration for the New Jersey State Police
  • David Franklin, chief of staff at the Albuquerque Police Department in New Mexico

A spokesperson for Aurora did not immediately provide any reason for Booth withdrawing. He said the city will contact the recruiting firm used for the chief search to find out more information, and may approach some semi-finalists for reconsideration. In the meantime, Aurora will move forward with the two other finalists.

During a three-day selection process next week, the finalists will tour Aurora police sites and meet with department employees, meet with community and city leaders and participate in a community panel.

Community members are asked to submit questions for the finalists by 5 p.m. Sunday to answer in taped interviews. The interviews will be published by next Tuesday, and residents can submit feedback as well. 

The city will also host a public meet-and-greet with the finalists Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the lobby of the Aurora Municipal Center at 15151 East Alameda Parkway.

The new chief will have the task of keeping the Aurora Police Department on task in meeting the terms of a consent decree with the state, which requires the agency to have more diversity in hiring and reduce its patterns of bias and excessive force in officers' encounters with the public. They will also have a role to play in addressing Aurora's rising crime, an issue playing out in cities across the nation.

The selection of finalists comes after months of internal division and turmoil that culminated in the firing of former Chief Vanessa Wilson in April. Since her departure the agency has been helmed by Interim Chief Dan Oates, who led the Aurora Police Department from 2005 to 2014 and was the head of the agency during the 2012 movie theatre massacre.

The city used the recruiting firm Public Sector Search & Consulting, a California-based company. Under Aurora's city charter, the police chief is appointed by the city manager and approved by a majority of City Council.

The firm reached out to local and national law enforcement associations and the Police Executive Research Forum, according to a news release.

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