AURORA, Ill. (CBS) – The permit for the Aurora Pride Parade has been revoked, organizers announced on Wednesday.
Aurora Pride said in a statement that the Aurora Police Department said it could not provide enough officers to provide security and tasked Aurora Pride with finding officers from other jurisdictions to fill the void.
Aurora Pride was told it had until noon Wednesday to secure the sufficient number of officers, and if that didn’t happen, the special events permit for the parade would be revoked.
Aurora Pride said it could not board the required number of officers “despite the tireless efforts of our security team leader and many supporters offering their assistance”. So the license was revoked.
The Aurora Police Department said Tuesday that when officers need a special event held privately, officers are assigned to do extra work outside of their regular duties. Overtime and overtime are voluntary, and the city cannot force any police officer to work for the parade, Aurora. said the police.
As it stands, the Aurora Police Department has already struggled to get officers to work overtime to fill staffing shortages, sick calls and vacations with overtime — all while ensuring there are enough officers on patrol to ensure public safety in the city, police say – adding that fewer officers want to work extra shifts than in the past.
Aurora police said they introduced Aurora Pride to other police departments and officers who might be involved – but even after that effort, the number of officers on board was reduced to 20.
Despite the license being revoked, parade organizers said they hoped the parade – scheduled for next Sunday – could still take place.
“Our position has been distorted and we are doing everything we can to keep the parade going as planned,” Aurora Pride said. “Thank you for your continued support and hold on tight.
The Aurora Pride Parade has already been mired in controversy involving the police department for a separate reason. Parade organizers decided last month that law enforcement could participate – but without weapons, uniforms or individual vehicles.
In late May, parade organizers issued a press release stating in part that “many members of the community feel uncomfortable in the presence of official law enforcement vehicles, as well as uniformed officers , because of negative experiences they or someone they know has had.
Organizers allowed uniformed police officers in the 2018 and 2019 Pride parades in Aurora. But they said in 2022 the climate has changed – and community members are more tense than they were three years ago.
Following the decision, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin said last week that he would not participate in the parade and also announced that the city of Aurora would no longer have a float in the parade.
“Affected officers and Aurora Police Department command staff disagree with this, and I support our officers. Accordingly, I will not be participating in the Aurora Pride Parade this year. as I have done in previous years,” Irvin wrote. “Furthermore, I am removing the City of Aurora float from the parade, and the Pride Flag Raising Ceremony – originally planned in conjunction with Aurora Pride – will now be presented solely by the city.”
Irvin wrote that the City of Aurora has “worked diligently for years” to build trust between police and the community “without painting Aurora with the broad brush of a national narrative.”