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January 15, 2015 at 10:02 AM

SPD Assistant Chief Nick Metz named Aurora, Colo., police chief

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Nick Metz

Assistant Seattle Police Chief Nick Metz has been selected as the next chief of police in Aurora, Colo.

Metz said he has always wanted to lead a department and is “excited” about the move.

He said he was formally offered the job on Wednesday and expects to be confirmed by the Aurora City Council on Feb. 2. He anticipates being in his new job by the end of February.

“It’s a dream come true to have this opportunity. It’s a great police department,” Metz  said. “The opportunity to work with an incredible agency is something I’m looking forward to.”

Metz, 52, moved to Seattle in 1983 from Minneapolis to work as a Seattle police officer. He said he has raised his children here and considers department colleagues an extended part of his family.

Speaking to The Times on Thursday morning, Metz said, “I’m definitely going to miss being here in Seattle.”

Metz was a recent candidate for the job of Bellevue police chief, but the city scrapped the search and decided to start over after the top contender from the Minneapolis Police Department withdrew his name.

Aurora is Colorado’s third largest city, with more than 347,000 residents and a police force of 650 sworn officers.

Metz , who heads patrol operations in Seattle, is one of five assistant chiefs under Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. He joined the Seattle Police Department in 1983 and has been at the center of the department’s leadership as it fell under a 2012 federal consent decree to curtail excessive force and biased policing.

Last month, O’Toole announced that she was opening all five assistant-chief positions to competition, seeking applications internally and externally, including any submitted by the current assistant chiefs.

Though his job as an assistant chief was in question after O’Toole’s announcement, Metz had nothing but compliments for her. He said she has helped him prepare to become a police chief and said he is looking forward to working with her on a national level.

O’Toole said Thursday, “I’m delighted for Nick.”

“I have huge respect for him,” O’Toole said. “He has well over a decade of command experience. He is really good in day-to-day operations and in crisis situations. He brings a maturity and experience that is second to none.”

Comments | More in Government, The Blotter | Topics: aurora, Mick Metz, Seattle Police Department

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