LMPD Chief Erika Shields to resign following conclusion of Mayor Fischer’s term
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville mayor-elect Craig Greenberg confirmed on Monday afternoon Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields will be resigning following the end of current mayor Greg Fischer’s term.
Greenberg said he met with Shields over the weekend, where Greenberg said Shields offered her resignation as chief of police.
“When new mayors begin their term in Louisville and across the whole country, it is typical, I would say, for new chiefs of police to come on board,” Greenberg said. “And so, this is an opportunity for our city, for our police, for our city government, for all of us to move in a new direction. And so that is why I accepted Chief Shields’ resignation.”
Shields’ resignation will be formally accepted once Greenberg takes office in January.
“I want to thank Chief Shields for her service to our city, and I appreciate her willingness to remain on board to help with our transition through the end of February,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg said he is looking for a chief that will command community-wide respect, engage all parts of the city, commit to community policing and transparency.
“We cannot simply police our way to safety here in Louisville,” Greenberg said. “And I’m confident that we will have a chief of police that meets all of those criteria and is a great partner for the city and for those who are with LMPD right now to move Louisville in a new direction.”
The search for a new chief of police for LMPD will begin effective immediately.
“I am honored to have led the dedicated and talented officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department during a time of unprecedented change in policing here and across the country,” Shields said in a statement. “Thank you to Mayor Greg Fischer for his trust in me and my team. I am proud to have served this department as it worked to implement more than 150 reform efforts, a police salary increase to attract and retain the best and brightest, and, most importantly, a reduction in violent crime. I look forward to continuing my service to the department through the remainder of the Fischer administration.”
Shields was named LMPD’s police chief in Jan. 2021, taking over for several interim chiefs after former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad was fired by Fischer in Jun. 2020 amid civil unrest.
Metro Council President David James said Shields had run the department as it was going through a number of changes.
“We’ve got the Hilliard Heintze report that she’s been working through, we’ve got the Department of Justice investigation she’s been working through,” James said. “She’s made some critical changes to policy and procedure on the police department. And she’s done a very good job of that.”
Shields had formerly been with the Atlanta Police Department for 25 years and served as their police chief from Dec. 2016 to June 2020.
Shields resigned from Atlanta’s police force following the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe.
The shooting happened overnight on June 12, 2020, and Shields resigned the following day.
Fischer released a statement following the announcement on Monday afternoon.
“I am deeply appreciative of Chief Erika Shields’ service to our community. At an incredibly challenging time, she came to Louisville and led an LMPD focused on reform and violent crime reduction, and in just the past year we see the results of that work – homicides down by nearly 14% and shootings are down 30%. Thank you to Chief Shields, her team, and her family – we are better off for their sacrifice and commitment.”
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