Thursday, August 13, 2020

City Newsletter - Aug. 13, 2020



Aug. 13, 2020


City takes up comprehensive review of police


City Manager Jim Twombly and Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson announced Aug. 11 that they will be undertaking a comprehensive review of the Aurora Police Department. 21CP Solutions, a global firm of experts in the areas of civil rights and public safety, will join the city in pursuit of the common goal of a new vision of public safety that works for everyone.


“We must serve the Aurora community in a way that recognizes and honors our diversity," Twombly said. "That requires us taking a hard look at how we do things in order to build an agency that the community trusts. These changes are of the utmost urgency to the city, and most importantly, the community.”


The scope of this work will include the department’s leadership structure; elevating the role of community policing and engagement; assessing current policies and practices with respect to use of force, discriminatory policing and bias-free policing practices; officer misconduct and accountability; stops, searches and arrests; recruitment, hiring and retention; interaction with vulnerable populations; and crisis intervention and interactions with individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges.


“We embrace this opportunity for change and are committed to evolve for the betterment of our profession, our community and the residents we serve," Wilson said. "Law enforcement is being evaluated across the nation and we want to ensure that our entire community feels that APD is an agency that shows dignity and respect and can be a role model for 21st Century policing. We will strive daily to regain the trust in our community. I believe this review, along with actionable policy and training changes, is a good first step.”


Other review efforts underway are:

·    An external, independent investigation of the Elijah McClain case examining the actions of police, firefighters and paramedics. This team-based review is being led by Jonathan Smith, who is executive director of the Washington Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

·    The Community Police Task Force, which is tasked with reviewing current police operations and procedures and making recommendations about community engagement and potential community input on critical incidents, such as civilian oversight. The task force includes leaders and advocates from the community of faith, NAACP, criminal justice reform organizations, educators and Aurora Key Community Response Team, as well as other individuals from the community.




New testing site now open in Aurora


A new community-based COVID-19 testing site is now open in Aurora at the 250-acre Aurora Sports Park, 19300 E. Colfax Ave.


Drive-up testing is available for free to any individual who wants to be tested, especially for those who have symptoms. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Pre-registration at is suggested to expedite the testing process but is not required.


The city of Aurora—in coordination with Gov. Jared Polis and support from Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman and the Aurora City Council—is providing the host location for this testing site as well as logistical, communications and funding support via the state of Colorado, Arapahoe County CARES dollars, and the city.


Polis has publicly expressed the importance of the state’s partnerships with local communities as an essential part of its targeted approach to tackling the pandemic. COVID-19 testing is essential for identifying and tracking cases and outbreaks quickly while also providing treatment options and isolation to prevent spread. 


MAKO Medical of North Carolina will manage staffing, testing operations and logistics, with support from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. MAKO Medical will maintain the test results website, and Tri-County Health Department will contact any individuals directly with positive results. A link to the test results website will be available at


Because testing is so critical during this public health crisis, the city of Aurora is supporting the state’s efforts to make free testing widely available and accessible as part of a broader approach to prevent spread while allowing for a continued increase in economic activity and ensuring ample capacity at local hospitals.


More details about the testing site are available at



Rental Assistance Program offers help during COVID-19

If you have been hurt financially by the current COVID-19 crisis and you need help paying rent, visit our webpage to learn more about eligibility and to apply for our Rental Assistance Program. We are accepting applications now.

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Monday night offers one more chance to weigh in on restricted breed ordinance


image of public art outside the aurora animal shelter

Ahead of the vote next week by the Aurora City Council this Monday, Aug. 17, there is another opportunity to provide public input on the city’s Restricted Breed Ordinance, Section 14-75 of the Aurora Municipal Code. 


The Aurora City Council is considering whether to retain or repeal the ordinance and whether a repeal should occur via council ordinance or public vote. We want to make sure you have a say in it. 


Given COVID-19 limitations for public gatherings, the meeting will take place virtually, with two ways for the public to participate: by submitting comments via email and/or by providing live comments via telephone during the Aug. 17 meeting.  


Call-in participation. You may provide live comments during the City Council meeting via telephone. The number to call for the meeting (855.695.3475, then press *3 to reach operator) will be open beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, (the meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.) for people to be placed in the queue. Callers may be placed in the queue from 7 p.m. until the City Clerk formally introduces the agenda item for consideration by the City Council. All callers will have up to 3 minutes to share their opinion.


**When calling 855.695.3475, please indicate the restricted breed related agenda item for which you would like to provide comment.  


Email comments. Between now and 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14, you may send an email to with your comments. Those comments will be printed, given to Council Members and made part of the public record. Comments sent via email won’t be read during the City Council meeting to allow time for the call-in participants. 


To learn more about the ordinance, including background, visit






Council Member Town Meetings

Council members are eager to hear from residents and committed to forums in which those conversations can occur, but the format and structure of town meetings may be affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Please visit to check the latest information on meeting dates.


City Council Meeting (Virtual)

Monday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.

To participate in Public Invited to Be Heard, the phone line opens at 7 p.m. Call 855.695.3475 and then press *3 before 7:30 p.m. to be placed in the queue. Callers may be placed in the queue from 7 p.m. until the City Clerk formally introduces the agenda item for consideration by the City Council. All callers will have up to 3 minutes to share their opinion. 

View this meeting online at and cable channels 8 and 880. You may also listen to the meeting by phone (see for details).

Streamed live at or cable channels 8 and 880 only


Mayor Mike Live

Friday, Aug. 14, 3 p.m.

Join Mayor Coffman on Facebook Live or every Friday for updates on the city’s COVID-19 response, as well as information on topics being discussed in our city. This week (Aug. 14), Council Member Crystal Murillo will discuss youth programs and her role as co-chair of the RTD Accountability Committee, and Minsoo Song with the city’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs will talk about Global Fest. Live streamed on Facebook and


Global Fest Virtual Celebration

Saturday, Aug. 15, 11 a.m. to noon

Join us as this year’s Global Fest celebration of Aurora’s international cultures and traditions goes virtual. On the city’s Facebook page, watch a virtual Parade of Nations and International Fashion Show, and numerous performances reflecting the rich diversity of the Aurora community.


Trusted Voices: Census 2020 Series 

Through Sept. 1, Tuesdays, 10 a.m.

The city of Aurora will host the Trusted Voices: Census 2020 series on Facebook Live. Join us as we talk with trusted voices throughout our community about the benefits and opportunities of completing the 2020 census. 


Aurora Mobile Food Pantry

Wednesdays in August, 10 a.m. until food has been distributed

In partnership with Aurora Interfaith Community Services, the city of Aurora has distributed more than 290,000 meals this summer as part of the Aurora Mobile Food Pantry. Photo ID or proof of Aurora residency is required. All Aurora households are eligible. Food for pets is also available, as well as emergency food kits for those experiencing homelessness. For questions, call 720.557.6444 or visit

Town Center at Aurora, 14200 E. Alameda Ave.


Virtual Storytime

Daily, 10 a.m. (Wednesdays is American Sign Language)

Aurora Public Library has been offering virtual programming since mid-March. One of the most popular programs is the daily storytime. Other ongoing programs include Reader’s Corner, Mystery Read and Create & DYI. To learn more about all the virtual programming, visit or the Aurora Public Library Facebook page


Virtual Dance Classes

Daily, time varies

Aurora Dance Arts is providing live online dance classes, with some of their fabulous faculty teaching from home, dance tutorials and dance challenge videos, and various other online resources for dancers and families.

City of Aurora Arts Education Facebook page


Super Old News (virtual)

Tuesdays, 11 a.m.

Every week, time-travelling news anchor Skip DeCade takes you back in time reporting on Facebook Live Aurora news from the first half of the 20th century. The stories presented are borrowed from the Aurora Democrat newspaper which reported Aurora's news from 1909 to 1955.

Aurora History Museum’s Facebook page


Mornings at the Museum (virtual)

Wednesdays, 11 a.m. (ages 2-5)

Join the Aurora History Museum staff on this special time designed for preschoolers. Each week, the Facebook Live experience includes a combination of activity, storytime and/or craft-making.

Aurora History Museum’s Facebook page






Have a comment, question or need our assistance? Contact Access Aurora online, at 303.739.7000, or via iOS or Android app.


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This newsletter is produced by the city of Aurora Communications and Marketing Department