Community College of Aurora and Aurora Police Department Announce Historic Partnership

CCA President Dr. Mordecai Brownlee and Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo pictured above.

AURORA, CO — The Community College of Aurora (CCA) and the Aurora Police Department (APD), are proud to announce the establishment of a historic alliance between the two public entities. This fall, CCA and APD will unveil its newly developed Cadet Pilot Program joint partnership that will afford young Aurora residents the opportunity to both learn and serve in the community they call home.

CCA’s 6th president Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee calls the new partnership “a historic opportunity to create a new generation of civic-minded professionals, while supporting the workforce needs of our city’s law enforcement.”

CCA recently sunsetted its Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy Certificate. When developed, this 39-credit certificate was championed for its part time, nights, and weekend approach, extending the hours of student engagement far beyond the required minimum to ensure full skill development. What reflected the needs of the students at the time, no longer addresses the accelerated, full-time programming needs of today. 

The certificate program had seen a consistent decline in enrollment for several consecutive years, limiting CCA recently to a single cohort of just six students. College administrators attribute this to several reasons, with the main concern being prospective jobs after completing the program. 

Dr. Bobby Pace, (CCA’s Vice President of Academic Success) said, “Partnerships such as these make certain that we are fulfilling our mission of ensuring we are preparing students not just for the workforce, but for meaningful careers that allow them to serve and contribute in the very communities in which they live.”

Through the institution’s collective and concentrated focus on program revitalization, this new partnership will propel students from the classroom, directly into critical, service oriented and in demand public safety career fields that are making an impact in our community.

“Our partnership with Community College of Aurora opens many opportunities for students in our community,” said Aurora Chief of Police Art Acevedo. “Graduates from the cadet program will have a better understanding of law enforcement and what it means to serve Aurora.”

“Aurora is the most diverse city in Colorado, and we know our police cadets will come from diverse backgrounds themselves. We’re excited to introduce our young people to the law enforcement profession and look forward to watching them embark on a long and rewarding career serving the people of Aurora.”

Expected to intake its first cohort of twenty (20) students beginning spring 2024, with an additional cohort of twenty (20) students beginning the very next academic year. The Cadet Pilot Program will:

  • Provide young adults the opportunity to start their careers,
  • Earn an Associate Degree,
  • And will include a two-year apprenticeship with the Aurora Police Department that will lead to viable employment.

CCA’s newest College Advisory Council member Naomi Colwell (Executive Director of the Aurora Police Foundation) called the partnership “a step in the right direction that will strengthen the ranks of Aurora’s finest.”

Chief Art Acevedo, an advocate for relational policing, is often quoted saying, “Every contact we make is the beginning of a relationship.” Chief Acevedo believes in starting those relationships with the people around you. When you’re a police officer, that starts with the community. The students at CCA are a great representative of the people APD serves.

Dr. Mordecai Brownlee closed by saying, “We are truly the community’s colleges. This historic partnership is another testament to that reality and our institutional commitment to be the college where EVERY student succeeds.

Photos by: CCA Dept. of Strategic Communications

About the Community College of Aurora:

The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. With a vision to aspire to be a college where every student succeeds, CCA is the most diverse college in the State of Colorado. Focused on creating social and economic mobility for its students, the college offers courses on two (2) campuses, online, and through its high school concurrent-enrollment programs. For more information, visit


Courtney Butler

Interim Strategic Communications Officer
Strategic Communications and Alumni Engagement

P: 303-340-7201   |  E: [email protected]