by: Nefertiti Jaquez Updated:
ATLANTA - Atlanta has a new police chief.
Chief Erika Shields is now the second woman to lead the department in the city's history.
City officials, police brass and other dignitaries packed The Commerce Club on Tuesday night for Shields' swearing in.
"She has the foundation to be one of the best and one of the most qualified police department leaders in the United States of America," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told Channel 2’s Nefertiti Jaquez.
Those who have worked alongside the department’s 24th chief couldn't agree more.
"This was an absolute perfect choice for us," said Atlanta police Maj. Celeste Murphy. "On a personal level, I'm all about girl power so of course I'm excited."
Many women on the force are excited because of the nearly 2,000 officers who make up the department, only 330 are female.
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“I think others think about it more than I do. All I have ever known is being a cop," Shields told Jaquez.
As an officer she patrolled the streets, worked undercover and was assigned to internal affairs.
Most recently, she served as deputy chief of field operations, supervising all of the officers patrolling the streets.
Now, after a 21-year career with the department, Shields is Atlanta’s top cop.
"I am making some changes in operation and in personnel and infusing some new ideas in how we approach things. I think this is the time to really roll the dice," Shields said. “I'm truly humbled to have been given this opportunity."
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