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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Aurora Approves $89,000 in New Riot Gear

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
City Council Meeting Over Zoom

The Aurora City Council approved the purchase of riot gear for the police department. The move was not without controversy. 

The Aurora City Council voted 8-3 in favor of a resolution to buy 150 complete sets of the gear for the Aurora Police Department. Supporters say that, after the recent protests in Aurora, the police need the equipment to keep them safe.

But Viviana Barajas from the Aurora Rapid Response Team told the council that more riot gear wasn't the way to go. "I'm telling you that no amount of riot gear is going to stop the protests. No amount of fear mongering on behalf of APD is going to stop the protests," she continued. "The only thing that will stop the protest, and we'll finally get community to come together is if y'all listen.

Alderman Emmanuel Llamas voted against the resolution. He cited concerns that the purchase seems redundant. He said, "We currently have 50 sets of Riot Gear, and it's only been used once in the last 25 years. And that came straight from APD at the last city council meeting. Are we really being fiscally responsible by purchasing an additional hundred and 50 sets that we likely will never use?"

The estimated cost is $89,000 dollars. The city council also approved a resolution to implement officer-worn body cameras. 

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.