ATLANTA - Mayor Kasim Reed named Atlanta Police Department's Deputy Chief Erika Shields as the successor to outgoing Atlanta Police Chief George Turner Thursday morning.
She's ready to lead! 21 years of experience, our new Chief Erika Shields. pic.twitter.com/3ZBwStgVUc— Atlanta Police Dept (@Atlanta_Police) December 1, 2016
Mayor Reed made the announcement at a news conference at Atlanta City Hall.
"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 is currently serving as the Deputy Chief in charge of the department's Field Operations Division. That is the largest division within APD, and includes the department's uniformed rank and file officers.
"I am extremely proud of the progress the department has made over the last seven years, and I look forward to leading the Atlanta Police Department as we continue to advance and become the best that we can be," Shields said Thursday morning.
Sources told FOX 5's Morse Diggs that the mayor's selection came amid intense lobbying from within the Atlanta Police Department. Mayor Reed is said to have considered several candidates for the post, but in the end, settled on Deputy Chief Shields.
An emotional press conference as Chief George Turner leaves the Department after 35 years. pic.twitter.com/DcKCgnBd58— Atlanta Police Dept (@Atlanta_Police) December 1, 2016
Longtime Chief George Turner will retire in late December.
"This has been an amazing run," Turner said. "As we move to the next chapter in the Atlanta Police Department, I am indeed confident that the leadership inside our department is more than prepared to take that next step."
Turner said he's looking forward to the next chapter in his life and said he plans on spending more time with his son, who is also an Atlanta police officer and lost his wife to cancer this year.
"My intent is really to try and help him be a single father and to get back to work," Turner said. "He loves being an Atlanta police officer."