Since late January, the Aurora Police Department has been working with the Aurora Pride organization and the City of Aurora’s Community Events Division to assist with the planning of the Aurora Pride Parade.
The Aurora Pride Parade, which is a privately-run event, applied for a special event permit through the City of Aurora’s Community Events Division. One step in the process to obtain a special event permit requires the Aurora Police Department to work with the organizers to determine a public safety plan based on the size and scope of the event. During the planning stages of any event held in the City, the Department determines the number of sworn law enforcement officers needed to ensure the safety of all participants and attendees.
During the initial application review process for the Pride Parade, the Aurora Police Department determined that the Aurora Pride organization was responsible for retaining law enforcement officers based on the requested parade route, the number of street closures, the size of the parade, the anticipated number of spectators, the number of officers needed to ensure the overall public safety of the event, and any other safety concerns. The number of officers needed for the 2022 Pride Parade is similar to the number of officers needed during the Pride Parade in 2019.
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.
Beyond special events, the Aurora Police Department has seen a significant increase in the need to hire overtime shifts to cover staff shortages, sick calls, and vacation time to ensure that the department has enough officers on patrol to respond to emergency calls and incidents throughout our city. Over the past few years, we have 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.
Since the parade’s permit was approved on May 3rd, APD has attempted to hire as many officers as possible to work the Pride Parade. As of Tuesday, we continue to fall short of the minimum number of sworn law enforcement officers needed to ensure the overall safety of the parade.
When it became apparent that 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.