The chief of police in Atlanta, Georgia has casually come out as a lesbian in a magazine profile that mostly focused on police reform.
The article on Chief Erika Shields in Atlanta magazine reads:
“In the waning months of a lame duck mayor’s term, a time when other city officials are packing their boxes or polishing their resumes, Shields, the APD’s first openly gay chief and the second woman to lead the force, is chipping away at an ambitious agenda for the 1,850-officer department—one that could please both policing reform advocates and cops.”
Shields was appointed to the top role by Mayor Kasim Reed in December 2016 and it’s the first time that someone openly gay has held the position.
Shields is focused on reducing gun violence, spending less money fighting low-level crimes and deterring juvenile crime.
“It just felt like the last couple years, we’ve been chasing things,” Shields says about cracking down on repeat offenders. “It’s nobody’s fault; it’s hard to make change in any environment. But if we’re not getting the results that we need, then we have to do something differently.”
Although it remains to be seen how long Shields will remain in the senior role, according to Atlanta magazine:
“Shields’s job security expires in January, when Atlanta’s new mayor takes office. It’s anyone’s guess who will win the job—and whether they will follow a 40-year tradition and appoint a new chief."
But Shields remains determined to make a significant impact in Atlanta, saying: “While I’m there, I’m going in for the win.”