|Daniel J. Oates
|Born||January 2, 1955
Hackensack, New Jersey
|Alma mater||Bucknell University (B.A.)
New York University (M.S.)
New York Law School (J.D.)
|Awards||Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police Ralph Smith Innovation Award|
|Current status||Chief of police|
|Department||Aurora Police Department|
|Years of service||New York PD: 1980–2001
Ann Arbor PD: 2001–2005
Aurora PD: 2005–
Daniel J. Oates (born January 2, 1955) is the police chief in Aurora, Colorado. He was formerly the Chief of Police and Safety Services Administrator for the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Oates was appointed Chief of Police on August 20, 2001 after serving 21 years in the New York Police Department. In August 2002, Oates became Ann Arbor's first Safety Services Administrator. He is a charter member of the federal Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council. His department is responsible for the criminal investigation of the 2012 movie theatre shootings in Aurora, Colorado, one of the largest mass shootings in American history.
Oates was born in Hackensack, New Jersey. He lived in nearby Oradell, before moving with his family to Midland Park, New Jersey, where he attended grade school at Nativity School. When Oates was 14 years old, he reached the rank of Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America's highest rank. He received the award from a Troop chartered to the Church of the Nativity in Midland Park. Oates is married and has two daughters aged 19–20 and 18–19.
Oates attended Saint Joseph Regional High School and graduated in 1973. He received his bachelors degree at Bucknell University where he majored in English. At Bucknell, he was the newspaper and yearbook editor. He went on to receive a master's degree from New York University and received his Juris Doctorate in 1986 from New York Law School. Oates is licensed to practice law in Colorado, New York, and New Jersey.
Oates began that career with the New York Police Department. He walked a beat in New York's 19th precinct, located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. He worked his way up the ladder, and later held the position of second of command of New York's Brooklyn South Patrol Borough. In this position, he was in charge of 3,000 police officers and 700 civilians. He also served as commanding officer of the legal bureau of the New York City Police Department Cadet Corps. By the end of his 21 year career, Oates had become head of intelligence for the department. There, he was part of the executive staff of Howard Safir, the New York City Police Commissioner. He also arranged security for the Millennium Summit and was also in charge of U.S. presidential security arrangements.
Oates took the helm of the Ann Arbor Police Department in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the summer of 2001. Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje credited his newly hired police chief for mitigating attacks on Muslims after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Oates oversaw the emergency and fire department in addition to the police department. Due to budget concerns, Oates reduced the size of Ann Arbor's fire and police departments by 20%. At the same time he helped reduce the violent crime rate by 24%. Hieftje also noted that his straightforward management style was an asset to the department.
Oates left Ann Arbor and became the police chief in Aurora, Colorado, in 2005 after the former chief, Ricky Bennett, was demoted for his department's failure to stop Brent J. Brents from committing sex crimes. Oates began his career in Aurora by building up a relationship between the police department and minority communities, specifically focusing on the black community whose members felt that the police force was used against minorities. During his first five years in Aurora, he oversaw a 30% decrease in the crime rate.
Oates was the chief of police in Aurora at the time of a shooting at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. In a remark on the booby traps in the suspect's apartment, Oates stated that the apartment was rigged "to kill whoever entered it". He expanded on this by saying "It was going to be a police officer...We sure as hell are angry". When asked about the strength of the case against the alleged shooter, Oates responded, "We will convict him. Yes."
In an interview with Fox News he expressed concern over the mounting fatigue facing his department and said that it was their "biggest challenge." Oates became emotional when the topic turned to the people under his command saying:
Obviously my cops and my civilian employees, they’ve done an incredible job. We couldn’t be more proud of them. You know we train and we train and we train for active shooter situations, it’s a legacy of Columbine and other shooter incidents, and as a police chief I never thought in my mind that I would really be coping with that or my cops would. And they did the other night – and they did an incredible job.”
- Former president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police
- Chairperson of the Colorado Information Sharing Consortium
- Member of Police Executive Research Forum
- Member of the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council
- Daniel Oates Resume. University of Colorado. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Kemp, Joe; Patrice O'Shaughnessy (20 July 2012). "Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates began crime-fighting career with NYPD". NY Daily News. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Illescas, Carlos (23 July 2012). "Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates doing all the right things". Canon City Daily Record. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Modafferi, Peter; Bouche, Kenneth (2 February 2005). "Intelligence Sharing: The Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council". The Police Chief 72 (2). Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Naanes, Marlene; Abbott Koloff (23 July 2012). "Bergen County native leading investigation of Colorado theater massacre". The Record (Bergen County). Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Olvera, Javier (29 November 2005). "Aurora's top cop hits ground running, learning Daniel Oates says he'll work hard but is 'only human'.". Rocky Mountain News via Highbeam Research. Retrieved 24 July 2012.(subscription required)
- Illescas, Carlos (23 July 2012). "Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates doing all the right things". The Denver Post. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- "Daniel J. Oates, M.A., J.D.". Liu Riverhead. Long Island University. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Peters, Nick (28 October 2001). "'Feds' in the firing line after failing their greatest test". Scotland on Sunday via Highbeam Research. Retrieved 21 July 2012.(subscription required)
- Feldscher, Kyle (20 July 2012). "Former colleagues: Ex-Ann Arbor police chief Dan Oates 'well prepared' for crisis like Colorado shooting". Ann Arbor.com. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- Lavender, Paige (21 July 2012). "Colorado Shooting: Aurora Police Chief Gives Update On Investigation Of Theater Shooter's Apartment". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Daniel Oates, Aurora Police Chief, Says Columbine Helped Shape Police Response And 'We Will Convict Him' (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
- "Emotional Interview: Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates on the Investigation into the Movie Theater Suspect". Nox News Insider. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.