LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields will serve as Louisville Metro Police Department's next permanent police chief, Mayor Greg Fischer announced Wednesday morning. She will assume the position Jan. 19.
Over the summer, Shields resigned from her position in Atlanta after an officer shot and killed 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, leading to protests in the city.
Yvette Gentry has been interim chief since Oct. 1, 2020, when she took over from the retiring Robert Schroeder. Schroeder became chief in June 2020 after Fischer fired Steve Conrad. Conrad left the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) after the shooting death of David McAtee. During that shooting, two LMPD officers failed to activate their bodycams, a rule that the Mayor made mandatory following the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
Metro Louisville accepted applications for the chief position in August. The Washington DC-based "Police Executive Research Forum" (PERF) lead the national search for the new chief. In August, Fischer said community polling found the three top qualities wanted in a new police leader were accountability, good communicator, and someone who is an "inspirational leader."
Along with PERF, an eight-member panel made up of government and community leaders came together to help conduct interviews, evaluate applications, and make recommendations to Mayor Fischer.
Fischer has said all along that he wanted a new chief by the end of 2020. He only missed his deadline by a week. Gentry's contract with the city will not exceed six months and she will be paid $18,000 a month. She is the first woman ever to lead the LMPD in its 200-plus year history. Gentry did not apply for the permanent position. Before accepting the interim job, Gentry was working with Metro United Way and the Rajon Rondo Foundation. She took a leave of absence from these positions to lead LMPD.