Aurora Pride Parade In Jeopardy Because of Lack of Police Officers

The Aurora Pride Parade is scheduled for Sunday, but it may not happen if more officers are are not able to work the event.

According to the Aurora Police Department’s press release sent out Tuesday, the APD and Aurora Pride organization have been working together to form a safety plan for the event. That plan lays out a minimum number of sworn police officers needed to allow the event to take place. That number, based on street closures, anticipated attendance and other factors, has not been met. According to the APD, 20 more officers need to volunteer their time to meet that requirement.

The press release explains that when a privately run special event requires law enforcement support, it is offered to Aurora Police officers to work as an extra job outside of their regularly assigned duties. Extra jobs and overtime shifts are voluntary, and the Department or City cannot force officers to work any overtime shifts or extra jobs. Over the past few years, the APD has seen substantial changes with many officers wishing to spend more time with their family and friends and less time volunteering to work beyond their regularly scheduled shifts. As a result, we often have trouble hiring overtime  shifts to cover our patrol division or for officers to work special events.

When it became apparent that the Aurora Pride organization would have difficulty recruiting the remaining required officers willing to take additional shifts, APD and the City met with organizers of the Pride Parade and began working closely with them to mitigate the issue. APD introduced Aurora Pride to other police departments and organizations which could provide sworn law enforcement personnel.

On Monday, June 6th, Aurora Pride informed APD that after reaching out to neighboring jurisdictions and state law enforcement agencies, they were unable to fill the additional sworn law enforcement slots needed for the overall safety of the parade. After meeting with the organizers, APD informed the City’s Community Events Division that approximately 20 officers were still required to fully staff the event to ensure the safety for all.

With an update from the organizers this morning, no additional officers had been secured. Unless the additional officers are secured shortly, APD cannot recommend to the City that the event can proceed as planned.

It’s unclear if the City would allow the event to proceed or shut it down.

Aurora Pride’s statement to staffing issues is a short one:

“We are concerned and disappointed, and we are investigating all options available to us,” the organization posted on their website.

There has been a riff between the City and the Aurora Pride parade over how officers would present themselves at the parade. Mayor Irvin has said he’d boycott, including removing the City’s float in the parade if officers were not allowed to march in full uniform.

The background to that story can be found here in the Daily Herald.