After six years as Chief of Police for the city of Atlanta, George Turner will retire at the end of the year. Thursday morning, Mayor Kasim Reed announced his replacement will come from within the department, 21-year-veteran Deputy Chief Erika Shields.
She currently serves on Turner's leadership team as his chief of staff.
"She has the foundation to be one of the best and most qualified police department leaders, I think, in the country," Mayor Reed said.
Shields will take over as Police Chief on Dec. 28.
Here are four things to know about the incoming chief:
1. Shields is currently a Deputy Chief
She will serve as the deputy chief in the Support Services Division until December 28. She took the position in 2013 where she manages "the department’s day-to-day operations associated with: $168 million budget, Training Academy, Corporate Services Section, Information Services Section and the E-911 Center," according to the APD website.
2. Shields has been an Atlanta police officer for 21 years
She joined the department in 1995 as a patrol officer. According to Atlanta Police, she worked as a beat officer and a plain clothes officer in zone 3 for eight years before transitioning to other positions.
3. She has a Master's degree in Criminal Justice
Shields has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Weber University and a Master's in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University.
4. She is not the first woman to serve as chief
In 1994 the city of Atlanta hired Beverly J. Harvard as police chief. She was the first black woman to hold the highest rank in law enforcement in a major city.