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SPD assistant chief Nick Metz tapped for Colorado job

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SEATTLE — Assistant Seattle Police Chief Nick Metz has been tapped to take over the Aurora, Colorado Police Department, law enforcement sources said Thursday.

The move requires Aurora City Council approval before it is confirmed, officials said.

Aurora is Colorado’s third largest city. According to the Seattle Times, it features a police force of 650 sworn officers.

Metz, a former Deputy Chief under previous classifications, has come under fire since a 2012 consent decree to reduce overall excessive force in the SPD.

Metz was serving as the assistant Chief of the Field Support Bureau, implemented by former interim Seattle Police Chief Harry Bailey. Metz will replace former Aurora Chief Dan Oates, who moved to a different force in May 2014.

He served with the SPD since 1983.

Metz will be Aurora’s first African-American chief.

“To say this opportunity is a dream come true would be an understatement,” Metz said in an Aurora release. “I am excited to work alongside the women and men of this nationally recognized agency as we work together to enhance public safety and continue to build upon the already strong partnerships with Aurora’s diverse communities.

Current Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole released this statement following the announcement.

“I had very mixed emotions when hearing the news. Of course, I’m delighted for Nick. He deserves this opportunity and will bring extraordinary experience and leadership to the Aurora PD. At the same time, I will miss the great support and friendship he has provided to me over the past six months. I look forward to our continued friendship and to working collaboratively with him as members of the Major City Chiefs Association.”

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