Erika Shields, the former Atlanta police chief who stepped down in June after one of her officers fatally shot DUI suspect Rayshard Brooks, has been named the next chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Shields will face an immediate challenge stepping into her new role following a record-breaking year of homicides in Louisville and months of riots and protests over the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in March.
She will be sworn in as the Louisville MPD chief Jan. 19, the Courier-Journal reports.
Mayor Greg Fischer called her an "experienced, progressive, reform-minded leader."
Shields said she knows she will lead the department at a challenging time.
"I recognize that there is a lot of healing that needs to happen in policing in general, and that LMPD is at a crossroads," she said in a statement. "But I think there is also an opportunity to get this right here in Louisville, and to create a model for other cities to follow."
Speaking directly to officers, Shields acknowledged there's "an enormous amount of work to be done."
"I know that you're tired," she said. "You're fatigued, and you feel as though no one appreciates what you're doing. And yes, policing has become increasingly difficult over the years, but I will tell you, I love being a cop. I take pride in being a cop. And I take pride in our profession."
Longtime Louisville Chief Steve Conrad was fired June 1.