Atlanta’s top cop was officially sworn in Tuesday evening. Chief Erika Shields said she is honored and humbled by the opportunity, but more than anything her mind is focused on the work she has ahead.
“I think this is the time to really roll the dice and step out and try a few different things,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.
Chief Shields said she wants to infuse new ideas in how the department approaches things and plans to make changes in operations and personnel. During Tuesday’s ceremony she presented changes to the department’s command staff.
“I sincerely believe that we have an obligation to the constituents to make Atlanta as safe as possible and that is done simply through hard work,” said Chief Shields.
For some city leaders, like Atlanta City Council President, Ceasar Mitchell, crime within the city is on the top of his list. Mitchell said as a city council they are going to put their money where their mouths are.
“When crime occurs to you that is 100 percent and we have to pursue criminals from that perspective and we have to fight crime from that perspective,” said Ceasar Mitchell.
VIDEO REPORT: Big pension payout for Atlanta’s ex-chief
Mayor Kasim Reed said crime in the city was down by 3 percent in 2016 and 27 percent under his administration, but he understands many are worried about some recent incidents.
“We hear them loud and clear and we see what they see and we are going to take additional steps, really whatever steps are necessary to ensure that we address the spike in violent crime that we have experienced,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I think we have the right chief, she is building her team out and we are going to push back against violence in our city.”
Chief Shields plans to outline her safety plan next week. The chief said while it sounds cliche, she became a police officer because she wanted to help people and it is what her drove her the last two decades and continues to drive her in her new position.
NEXT ARTICLE: King Center to commemorate birthday of M.L.King Jr.