LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As Louisville Metro Police continues to be the center of the Breonna Taylor investigation, Interim Chief Yvette Gentry has assumed her position as leader of the force. WAVE 3 News talked to Gentry one-on-one and asked what her plans are for the department she inherited, while fielding other city politics.
“Stop hurting each other, if you need help, get it. It’s not a sign of weakness its OK.” Gentry said that’s her message to every man and woman in blue, mother, father, and family in Louisville.
Saturday marked the third day into her new role, and already Gentry is trying to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement. She made her rounds to Shawnee Park, where the Anti-Violence Live Hard Fest event took over the pavilion.
The main concept of the event was to highlight the trauma and loss the community goes through, as the city of Louisville has broken its own homicide record.
“Our kids, our people count homicides. We do that like the year starts over and starts at zero No, that’s not how that works,” Gentry said. “That’s someone missing from Thanksgiving, that’s a mother missing, a father missing. We really got to look at violence in the community and figure out ways to stop it.”
A handful of officers came out to Shawnee Park to introduce themselves to Gentry and the community; a pillar of what Gentry would like to see now that she’s in charge.
“[We’re] letting people know I’m here, to give us an opportunity to build better relationships,” Gentry said. “There has been mistakes on both sides, so how do we fix it and move forward?”
Among the issues she has to tackle: how to lead the best foot forward, since the grand jury recordings were released on Friday.
“The thing is everyone wants to know what happened,” Gentry said. “We have to go from the start to the finish from the affidavit of the warrant to the execution of the warrant. If you’re going to get systemic change you have to make sure you look at all of it and that’s going to be my responsibility.”
Gentry said she wants people to have some faith and trust that behind the badge, she’s a human too.
She said she relates to everyone else who has experienced loss, trauma and the hurt the compassionate city is going through.
“Trauma is real,” Gentry said. “I took grief from some people from doing interviews and for crying and I said ‘that’s OK, it’s OK to cry,’ it doesn’t mean I’m weak, it just means I’ve been through some things.”