John Wayne Ferguson
Former Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has found his latest job.
Acevedo on Tuesday was named the new interim police chief of the Aurora, Colo, Police Department.
Acevedo, who led the Houston Police Department from 2016 to 2021, will take up his new job in December and serve for up to a year, according to The Denver Post.
‘The chameleon of police chiefs’: Acevedo survived controversy on way to top policing jobs
The Aurora Police Department is Acevedo’s second leadership job since he left Houston. He was the chief of the Miami Police Department for just six months before fired being amid a dispute over his takeover of an internal affair unit and his change to the department’s command staff.
Acevedo later sued Miami leaders, saying his firing was retaliation for his speaking out against corruption in the Magic City. Since his firing, he had worked as a commentator for CNN.
In Colorado, Acevedo will lead a department that has struggled to attract a permanent police chief since the departure of Chief Vanessa Wilson in April, according to The Denver Post. The Aurora Police Department in July entered into a consent decree withe Colorado Attorney General’s Office, as part of a settlement and agreement to reform how the department interacts with and uses force against people of color.
Acevedo during a press conference Tuesday called the Aurora Police Department a “work in progress”
In a new release, Acevedo compared Aurora to Houston, calling both cities “incomparably diverse and culturally rich.”
Acevedo has a history of dealing with controversies in his past police jobs.
When he left Austin to take over the Houston Police Department in late 2016, Acevedo was staring down a brewing scandal after a state commission found the city’s crime lab was using outdated methods to examine DNA samples. He also faced pressure over an Austin police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed, naked high school student in February that year and several months later apologized after video emerged of an officer slamming a woman to the ground during a minor traffic stop.
When he made his sudden departure from Houston, Acevedo left behind a spike in crime, the fallout from a botched 2019 drug raid that left two homeowners dead, frayed relations between his administration and rank-and-file officers and growing discontent among police reform advocates who have called for changes recommended by a task force more than five months ago.
The Aurora Police Department is much smaller than Houston or Miami department. Acevedo will now lead about 740 police officer and about 170 civilian employees. The Houston Police Department employs more than 5,000 officers and Miami had 1,100 officers.
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