Our Command Staff
Meet Chief Erika Shields
Chief Erika Shields brings more than 25 years of law enforcement experience to the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) and has served LMPD and the Louisville community since January 2021. Chief Shields is a strong advocate for community-based engagement, police accountability, and leveraging technologies to reduce violent crime and provide transparency to police work.
Chief Shields is deliberate and focused in targeting crime and believes this is best accomplished through the implementation of technologies, leveraging of intelligence, and a strong collaboration with state and federal partners. Chief Shields believes firmly in the equitable treatment of all persons, and as it applies to law enforcement, this can be best achieved through consistent and fair interactions with the public across all communities.
Chief Shields has had an expansive career in law enforcement. Prior to serving in Louisville, she spent 25 years with the Atlanta Police Department, rising through the ranks to become their Chief of Police in 2016. During her time as Atlanta’s Chief of Police, the city experienced a reduction in violent crime, a marked increase in illegal gun seizures, and committed to robust community engagement efforts.
Over the course of her career in Atlanta, Chief Shields has worked a span of assignments, including plainclothes work (narcotics and vice), investigating robberies, internal affairs investigations, and managing the Atlanta Police Department’s Research and Accreditation Unit. During her time as a Commander for APD, she held multiple assignments, including: developing the department's technological division; overseeing the department's budget; managing the training academy, firing range, and recruitment process; overseeing the patrol division; collaborating with the Fulton County Judiciary on the My Journey Matters program, which partnered APD officers with young people facing felony charges; created the first Animal Cruelty Enforcement and Prevention Unit, which not only included investigations and community outreach, but also resulted in visits from adoptable dogs from the Fulton County Animal Shelter to the APD, to in part bring awareness to the officers about the nexus between animal cruelty and domestic violence/child exploitation cases; successfully drove forward the largest pay raise for officers in the city's history; collaborated with the Atlanta Police Foundation to operate the At-Promise Center which serves at-risk youth and their families; and partnered with multiple non-profits to institute a Pre-Arrest Diversion program that allowed individuals to receive social services in lieu of arrest.
Chief Shields has advocated for similar programming in Louisville, creating a LMPD Youth Advisory Committee, advocating for the newly created Louisville Metro Police Activities League (PAL), fully engaging the department in the Group Violence Intervention (GVI) program, operationalizing the new Accountability and Improvement Bureau that will focus on performance throughout the department. Chief Shields has been actively involved in numerous professional organizations, to include serving on the executive board of the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) and as a board member of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).