Supporters of former Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson gathered earlier this week to contest her termination. Wilson was fired by the city manager last week.
“It’s not about me, it’s about making sure that we have leaders in the police departments, in this city, across the state who are willing to stand up to the unions and stand up to those who are doing it wrong, willing to fire those officers who are doing it wrong,” said Wilson. “I’m talking about criminal behavior, it cannot and will not and should not be allowed in that building.”
Wilson also claimed her firing was a political move, CBS Denver reports.
“What I did was not popular. Leadership is not a popularity contest.”
She also discussed the current police force and urged the community to take a positive outlook.
“The vast majority of the officers in the Aurora police force, those dedicated men and women, embraced the changes that are coming, are excited about the change the consent decree will implement, better training, better equipment, better support in implementing support for best practices. So please, still believe in these men and women who are out there doing their jobs selflessly.”
Last week, City Manager Jim Twombly said there were two issues with Wilson: management and leadership. In the announcement about Wilson, Twombly said that Wilson “prioritized community involvement” but didn’t “effectively manage the operations of the department, effectively engage with staff, build morale, and validate employee feedback.”
When asked if a lawsuit against the city is possible following her firing, Wilson said that she is considering all options, 9 News reports.
The city of Aurora said Monday afternoon it was working on a response to the news conference and next steps, the Denver Channel reports.