Yvette Gentry named new LMPD interim chief

LMPD's new interim chief Yvette Gentry riffed on several topics in a sit-down interview with WAVE 3 News on Monday.
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 6:57 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department has a new interim chief.

Yvette Gentry will take over for Rob Schroeder, who took over as interim chief following the firing of longtime LMPD Chief Steve Conrad on June 1.

“Yvette brings the unparalleled experience and strong community relationships needed to lead LMPD until a permanent Chief is in place,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a news conference Monday afternoon. “She is passionate about working to help her city address systemic racism and reimagine public safety. She has never been shy about offering her advice, and I look forward to having her on the team as we move forward in selecting a permanent Chief.”

Gentry, an African-American woman, joined the Louisville Police Department in 1990 as a communications specialist. In 2006, she was part of the department’s command staff and would go on to serve as deputy chief of police in 2011. She was in the running to become chief before Fischer appointed Conrad. She then retired in 2014.

The mayor said Monday that he hopes to have a permanent chief named by the end of the year. Gentry said she does not want the job permanently.

“I am returning to the high-stress law-enforcement field in large part to help lead a call to action for those willing to do the work it takes to heal our city, and provide truth so we can have reconciliation, and create a system of justice rooted in equity,” she said.

Multiple sources told WAVE 3 News the decision came after Schroeder decided to step down amid disagreements with Fischer’s administration.

“I am grateful to have had this opportunity to serve the city and the police department that I love,” Schroeder said. “I am deeply proud of the men and women of LMPD, and how committed they are to keeping our city and our residents safe.”

The move comes at a time of unprecedented civil unrest and more than 100 nights of protests -- some of them violent -- as the city awaits Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s decision whether to charge the LMPD officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting death. Taylor was shot dead in her home in March by narcotics officers serving a warrant.

Gentry has been vocal about the need to address systemic racial problems in society while also addressing the problems at LMPD to include recruitment, pay and a lack of minorities willing to take the job. She was asked Monday what she thought of LMPD’s handling of the city’s 100+ days of protests.

“I won’t spend this time, this moment critiquing them,” Gentry said. “It’s hard to be out there all those days. I’ve worked a lot of protests but not 100-some days in a row.”

Chief of Public Safety Amy Hess said Gentry will earn a monthly salary of $18,000 throughout her term that will not exceed six months.

Metro Council President David James said he was pleased about Gentry’s appointment.

“Yvette brings about a tremendous amount of community experience and abilities to the department at a time when the department is in a very unstable condition,” he said. “So I think she will help stabilize things, work with the community and work with the officers. I think she’ll be a great addition.”

Fischer Gentry

RIGHT NOW: Mayor Fischer introduces Yvette Gentry as LMPD's new interim chief. Details >> https://bit.ly/2F9xQkq

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Monday, September 7, 2020

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