AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– The Aurora community is reacting to the news that Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates is leaving. He is likely taking a new job in Miami Beach.

Oates is expected to fly into South Florida this week and begin meeting with Miami Beach commissioners who still must approve the manager’s choice. The selection could be ratified as early as April 30 when the commission is scheduled to meet.

Oates has been Aurora’s chief since 2005. He was thrust into the national spotlight after the Aurora theater shooting in July 2013. The community praised his response and the handling of the situation.

Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates (credit: CBS)

Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates (credit: CBS)

“I’ve talked with him many times,” said Tom Sullivan who lost his son, Alex, in the shooting at the Century 16 theater. “Just the utmost professional.”

“It will be a sad day for the citizens of Aurora when we lose Dan Oates,” said Sullivan.

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said Oates’ legacy will not be defined just by his leadership during tragedy but by all he’s done for the city.

“Dan Oates is a chief’s chief,” said Brauchler. “Dan Oates has been a charge agent out there to help make Aurora one of the top law enforcement agencies in the state.”

Oates began his career with the New York City Police Department and spent 21 years there.

He went on to serve as Chief in Ann Arbor, Mich., before taking the Aurora chief’s job.

Oates has chosen not to comment until a formal decision is made.

“He’s done a lot for Aurora and a lot for Arapahoe County,” said Brauchler. “I wish he would stay.”

As the search for his replacement enters the early stage, Brauchler remains confident the city will continue in Oates’ vacancy.

“Probably go national but we’ll end up finding someone who has some big shoes to fill but they’ll find a person that can do it,” said Brauchler.


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