Division Chief Vanessa Wilson will step into the interim chief role Wednesday, becoming the first woman to lead the police department in Colorado’s third-largest city. Gov. A longtime officer will lead the Aurora Police Department as interim chief while the city searches for candidates to fill the position permanently amid a series of high-profile controversies in the agency. AURORA, Colo. (AP) — The new leader of the Aurora Police Department whose officers put Elijah McClain in a chokehold before the young Black man died last year and handcuffed Black girls over the weekend said Wednesday that she is committed to rebuilding the public’s trust by empowering police to veer away from strict training protocols and think about whether they are acting on their biases. (© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. 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Wilson’s appointment comes on the heels of a controversial video showing Aurora police officers detaining a family, including children, in a stolen vehicle investigation. She took the permanent position while the agency reels from filmed encounters with Black people that have drawn widespread attention on social media and triggered a series of investigations as the nation works to confront racism and police violence. Shenika Carter, a Denver community activist, wants Wilson to require anti-racist and anti-oppression training for officers. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Rocky Mountain FBI Academy, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Command Institute, Leadership in Police Organizations, sponsored by the International Association of Chief of Police. When she's not writing, she disappears into the mountains to hike and fish. Rescinds Order To Close 5 Douglas County Restaurants, Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray Doesn't Own A Car: 'I'm Just A Little Bit Different'. Wilson was a good choice for the interim position because of her strong ties to the community, said Councilwoman Alison Coombs, who is part of the group working for better police oversight. ), By viewing our video content, you are accepting the terms of our, The Associated Press. “My hope is that she will prove that she has not just the moral compass but also the fortitude to do the right thing and to overhaul a broken department,” Newman said Tuesday. For now, Aurora has Wilson, 51, at the top of the hierarchical ladder. Division Chief Vanessa Wilson will step into the interim chief role Wednesday, becoming the first woman to lead the police department in Colorado’s third-largest city. Jared Polis told reporters Tuesday that he hopes Wilson is ready to work to increase transparency and rebuild trust. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Alexander Jones, a colonel and bureau chief … Police and city leaders said Wilson’s leadership was crucial in the development of Aurora’s Community Outreach Team and the department’s program that pairs mental health clinicians with officers. Vanessa Wilson, the department’s interim chief. Wilson said an internal investigation has begun. The officer, Nathan Meier, kept his job, though he was demoted, and his fellow officers never investigated him for DUI. Elise Schmelzer is the public safety reporter at The Denver Post and covers police, crime and criminal justice. Wilson said that she will work with those groups and listen to community members. The city shared the following information about Wilson in a news release: Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities from the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Wilson said at a news conference Monday that she will be applying for the permanent position. Activists and leaders in Colorado say they hope Wilson, who’s been with the Police Department for 23 years, can create meaningful change. “I know that community leaders have respect for the work that she’s done,” Coombs said. McClain suffered cardiac arrest, was later declared brain dead and taken off life support several days later. Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly said Monday the hiring of a permanent chief will likely take between six and eight months and will include a national search. She also wants police to acknowledge that racism exists within the department and the role it played in McClain’s treatment. AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Aurora City Council on Monday voted to approve the appointment of Vanessa Wilson as the next police chief of the Aurora Police Department.