This morning, the City of Aurora’s Mayor Richard Irvin announced Keith Cross as the city’s new Chief of Police at a press conference.
Cross is a lifelong resident of Aurora, and has nearly 30 years of experience with the Aurora Police Department. Those qualities were what Mayor Irvin was looking for in the city’s next Chief of Police.
“He is a graduate of East Aurora High School, my alma matter,” said Irvin. “During his tenure on APD he has been a patrolman, community policing officer, school resource officer, a D.A.R.E and great instructor, special operation group supervisor, a crisis hostage negotiator… and for the past 15 months he has served as a Deputy Chief.”
Cross, pending city council final approval, will be Aurora’s second Black Chief of Police. He said he never imagined himself having an opportunity like this, but is looking forward to it.
“Over the past year our entire community has felt the effects of COVID-19, and because of those restrictions APD couldn’t focus on what we do best, community oriented policing (COP),” said Cross. “But now that our community has reopened our COP officers are back out at events, attending community meetings, and working with residents in their assigned districts to help deal with issues affecting their neighborhoods.”
Cross added that with the opening of the city’s critical information center early next month the police department will look at new ways to leverage technology to help with policing. He also said that APD will make it a priority to diversify its officers and is working with two historically Black colleges and universities in doing that.
New Deputy Chief and Deputy Mayor
At the press conference this morning Mayor Irvin also announced Commander Matthew Thomas as new deputy chief, and Guillermo Trujillo as his deputy mayor.
Filling In Some Big Shoes
Cross will take over the position from Kristen Ziman, who is retiring from the department on August 6.
“For such a small person she leaves tremendously large shoes to fill. Fortunately for me, I have big feet. Size 14 to be exact,” Cross said while laughing.
Aurora City Council must still approve the chief of police and deputy chief appointments.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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