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Danville Police Chief Scott Booth, a top candidate for job in Colorado, withdraws name from consideration

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Danville Police Chief Scott Booth was one of the top three candidates for the police chief position in Aurora, Colorado, before withdrawing his name. 

Booth, who has been Danville's police chief since February 2018, said he was approached about a month ago with the opportunity of applying for the position in Aurora. 

"It was a very interesting opportunity in a great community that offered a lot of opportunities and challenges," Booth said Thursday afternoon. 

Though tempted by the chance to make a move to Colorado's third-largest city, he decided he wanted to stay in Danville. 

"This is a great community with good people," Booth said. "We've got a great department."

According to the city of Aurora's website, Booth was a top contender for the chief position along with Scott Ebner, a retired lieutenant colonel and deputy superintendent of administration for the New Jersey State Police; and David Franklin, chief of staff at the Albuquerque Police Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

But an an update at 4:05 p.m. Wednesday on the city's website said, "The city received word that Scott Booth withdrew from consideration. There are no additional details to provide at this time."

"We are connecting with the city's recruiting firm to gather more insight [into why Booth withdrew]," said city of Aurora spokesperson Ryan Luby. 

All three finalists for the position were selected based on their qualifications and initial discussions the city's executive management team, Luby said. 

The city of Aurora will proceed with the two remaining finalists but could approach some of the original semi-finalists for reconsideration, the city's website states. 

With nearly 400,000 residents on the eastern edge of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan area, the city covers more than 163 square miles and is in three counties: Douglas, Arapahoe and Adams.  

Danville City Manager Ken Larking said he did not know about Booth's application in another city until he had withdrawn his name. 

"I didn't know anything about the circumstances," Larking said Thursday. 

He said he wasn't surprised that another locality would be seriously considering Booth for the position. 

"It's not surprising to me that we have department heads like Scott who are extremely capable in their jobs and other communities are seeking them out," said Larking. "I'm very proud of the work he has done in Danville." 

Larking hired Booth following the retirement of Danville's previous police chief, Philip Broadfoot. He added that was not bothered that Booth applied for a position elsewhere. 

"If they [city employees] have opportunities to better themselves, that's something I don't have a problem with at all," Larking said. "That's part of the way careers work, but I'm glad that he withdrew and I'm happy he's going to continue to be our police chief."

Booth told the Danville Register & Bee he had no plans to apply for any other police chief positions. 

Since starting in Danville, Booth has implemented community policing, in which an officer keeps a steady beat in an area and gets to know the people who live and work there.

The approach has included holding events in communities such as the HEART (Heal and Engage After Recent Trauma) walks in neighborhoods where homicides have just occurred. During those events, officers talk to residents to let them know what happened, check on them and connect them with resources for counseling and other services if needed. 

The city has seen a large drop in violent crime over the past few years under Booth’s watch.

He received a policing award from Radford University in 2020 for reducing violent crime and improving community relations.

This past April, he received the 2022 Excellence in Virginia Award for Innovation in Government by the Virginia Commonwealth University L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. 

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