Aurora Pride Parade at risk because of few police volunteers

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The Aurora Pride Parade may be cancelled thanks to police not volunteering to work security one week after the parade asked police not to march in uniform.

In a statement released on Tuesday, June 7, the Aurora Police Department said that the minimum number of officers hadn’t volunteered to work security for the parade. The APD said that as a privately run event, working the parade is offered to officers outside of their regular duties. They can’t require police to work the event.

This comes only a week after Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin (R) withdrew his participation in the parade in protest of the parade’s police uniform decision.

Two weeks ago, Aurora Pride said that LGBTQ police officers were welcome to participate in the parade with t-shirts, polo shirts and banners, but not full uninform. They got immediate push back from the police and mayor.

Aurora Pride made the decision to bar police uniforms marching in the parade because of community/police tensions in the wake of the George Floyd uprising two years ago. In both the original announcement and in an open letter responding to Irvin, the organization have said that police are welcome to march in the parade, just not in full uniform.

On Monday, even after Aurora Pride had reached out to other police departments for volunteers, they were still 20 people short for what the city requires for a parade.

“With an update from the organizers this morning, no additional officers had been secured,” the APD statement said. “Unless the additional officers are secured shortly, APD cannot recommend to the City that the event can proceed as planned.”

Aurora Pride released their own statement, “We are concerned and disappointed, and we are investigating all options available to us.”

Aurora Pride is Illinois’ largest Pride Parade outside of Chicago. It has been held since 2019, stopping for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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