AURORA, Colo. — Aurora city leaders are considering several changes to the city’s charter, which would impact the hiring and promotion of police officers as well as the way local elections are held.

A meeting for public questions and comment was held Tuesday evening at the Aurora Municipal Center, in which leaders from Aurora police and fire departments addressed a panel of three city council members.

The majority of the meeting was dedicated to a series of proposed charter changes from the Aurora Police Department (APD). Interim Chief Art Acevedo told city leaders the issues facing the department are not unique to Aurora, but some current restrictions within the charter are unique.

The proposed changes, which are now being considered by a committee of council members, would make it easier to hire officers from other police departments and to promote officers in less time if they come with prior experience.

“The threat environment, the business needs, the competitive market that we’re competing in, is always changing,” Acevedo said. “The nature of policing is changing as we speak. We’ve been having these conversations at the national level, where in the past, officers have joined and they’ve stayed with one department for 30, 35 years before they retire. We’re starting to find across the country… that officers and today’s employees are much more willing to move around.”

Other proposed changes to the charter would move city elections to even-numbered years, and remove the current requirement that they be non-partisan. They would also change city council member positions from part-time to full-time, and update the charter language to be gender neutral.

The Aurora City Council’s Charter Review Ad Hoc Committee, which led Tuesday evening’s public hearing, will continue considering the proposed changes and fielding edits before presenting them to the full city council. If approved by the council, it will then be up to Aurora voters to approve or reject them as early as this November.

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