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Aurora council approves retention bonuses for police officers

Officers will get $4,000 in April, and the other $4,000 in October.

AURORA, Colo. — Aurora Police Department officers will get $8,000 bonuses if they stay on the job through October. 

The Aurora City Council approved the retention bonuses in a 6-4 vote Tuesday night. Officers will get $4,000 in April, and the other $4,000 in October. 

Conservative councilmembers said the bonus will help the department keep officers, while progressives on the council said this is pure politics, and officers may take the money and then leave in October. 

"All employees are already getting a bonus," councilmember Crystal Murillo said. "This is, to me, feels like grandstanding, going above and beyond that amount."

"I don't support it, especially in light of the past two years," Murillo said. "Have we just forgotten and ignored the national spotlight we've had around what happened to Elijah McClain?"

Officers in Aurora have been under heavy scrutiny following McClain's death, and a consent decree requires more transparency from the department.

"If people only stick around for the next eight months, and allow us to continue to build back our police force, it will at least ensure that we can slow the bleeding," councilmember Dustin Zvonek said. "It will ensure that we can start to build back up our specialty units."

The city will pay for the bonuses with pandemic relief funds. 

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