For the first time since taking on her new role almost two weeks ago, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields took questions from the full Metro Council.”It’s a pleasure to get to meet with you all finally, albeit virtually,” said Shields.The special meeting was convened just a few hours after the widespread review of the police department from the firm Hillard Heintze. Council members wasted no time asking Shields how she plans on making improvements.”How do you plan on engaging with the African American community here?” said Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey.”Breonna Taylor was the flashpoint but there was a lot of distrust leading up to that,” said Shields.Chief Shields says bridging that gap will involve education, training, open conversations as well as more interaction between the community and those who patrol the streets.”LMPD cannot engage in enough community events because at some point what is missing is the humanization and I think that unfortunately the department is not nearly as diverse as it should be,” said Shields.Also for the former Atlanta police chief, her thoughts on the recently signed ordinance creating the civilian review and accountability board.”Can you speak to us about your interaction with the Atlanta Review Board and what you feel about review boards as a whole,” said Council member Paula McCranney.”I’m a big proponent of them and I don’t think realistically you can be in a city and not expect to have one,” said Shields.With the review citing low morale within the department, Shields says she’s encouraged by the firm’s findings that there’s a desire from those at LMPD to be better.”We have a lot of great officers on this force that in my opinion prior to now that have been led poorly,” said Councilman Anthony Piagentini.”There’s a real appetite for change and we just need to execute on it,” said Shields.Chief Shields told council members that as she goes about making changes based off the review, she values their input citing her open-door policy.

For the first time since taking on her new role almost two weeks ago, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields took questions from the full Metro Council.

“It’s a pleasure to get to meet with you all finally, albeit virtually,” said Shields.

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The special meeting was convened just a few hours after the widespread review of the police department from the firm Hillard Heintze. Council members wasted no time asking Shields how she plans on making improvements.

“How do you plan on engaging with the African American community here?” said Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey.

“Breonna Taylor was the flashpoint but there was a lot of distrust leading up to that,” said Shields.

Chief Shields says bridging that gap will involve education, training, open conversations as well as more interaction between the community and those who patrol the streets.

“LMPD cannot engage in enough community events because at some point what is missing is the humanization and I think that unfortunately the department is not nearly as diverse as it should be,” said Shields.

Also for the former Atlanta police chief, her thoughts on the recently signed ordinance creating the civilian review and accountability board.

“Can you speak to us about your interaction with the Atlanta Review Board and what you feel about review boards as a whole,” said Council member Paula McCranney.

“I’m a big proponent of them and I don’t think realistically you can be in a city and not expect to have one,” said Shields.

With the review citing low morale within the department, Shields says she’s encouraged by the firm’s findings that there’s a desire from those at LMPD to be better.

“We have a lot of great officers on this force that in my opinion prior to now that have been led poorly,” said Councilman Anthony Piagentini.

“There’s a real appetite for change and we just need to execute on it,” said Shields.

Chief Shields told council members that as she goes about making changes based off the review, she values their input citing her open-door policy.

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