Incoming Atlanta police chief wins approval of council panel

- As expected Erika Shields, the mayor’s nominee to be the next Atlanta police chief, won approval without a dissenting city council vote.

But in the midst of the confirmation discussion, the two-decade veteran of the department did run into a speed bump in the name of Felicia Moore. That council member, who is not on the public safety panel, walked into the room and delivered her trademark pointed observation and question.

Moore told shields residents are not buying the police department’s claim that crime in the city is down. She said they don’t believe it and don’t feel any reduction.

Shields listened and answered with candor. She said it is not a good idea to try and communicate with residents simply by citing statistics, especially when they or their neighbor down the street has a personal victim account.

Shields promised to hit the ground running when she formally takes over at the end of the month. She said she will target crime in a different way that will go beyond a standard shift of resources from one zone to another.

The incoming police boss promised to also be an advocate for her officers by seeking tougher prosecutions and sentences for lawbreakers who do it over and over again despite multiple arrests.

On Shields agenda, a sit down with Paul Howard -- the county district attorney.

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