PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. -

People in Aurora, Colorado are reacting after news their police chief might become Miami Beach's new top cop.

It was nearly a decade ago when Dan Oates went to Aurora for the position.

Seven years later, Oates was thrust into the national spotlight after the Aurora theater shooting, when a gunman killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

The community praised his response and handling of the situation.

"I've talked with him many times -- just the utmost professional," said Tom Sullivan, the father of one of the shooting victims. "It will be a sad day for the citizens of Aurora when we lose Dan Oates."

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said Oates has done a lot for the city.

"Dan Oates has been a change agent out here, to help make Aurora one of the top law enforcement agencies in the state of Colorado," said Brachler.

According to the ABC affiliate in Denver, Oates is the sole candidate for the job in Miami Beach.

Retiring Police Chief Ray Martinez announced his resignation in early March. He planned to serve until early this month.

Martinez had served on the Miami Beach Police Department for more than 12 years.