Louisville Makes History by Appointing Black Woman as Chief of Police

Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel, Louisville’s temporary police chief, will take over a department that has been in disarray ever since Breonna Taylor was killed by police in 2020 and was savagely criticized this year in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

The Louisville Metro Police Department’s chief will be Ms. Gwinn-Villaroel, 49, making her the first Black woman to hold the position on a long-term basis. Since her predecessor, Erika Shields, resigned in January as part of a recent round of leadership changes, she has served as acting chief.

β€œOver the past six months, Chief Gwinn-Villaroel has shown our city that she has exactly what I’m looking for in a chief and exactly what our community is looking for in a leader,” Mayor Craig Greenberg, who took office inΒ January, said Thursday in aΒ news releaseΒ announcing her hiring. β€œShe has extensive experience in law enforcement leadership and a record of reform.”

After working her whole career with the Atlanta Police Department, Chief Gwinn-Villaroel, a deputy chief who has 26 years of law enforcement experience, joined the organization in 2021.

The tweet below confirms the news:

New Chief Takes Charge of Louisville Police Department

Initially, Ms. Gwinn-Villaroel worked for Ms. Shields in Atlanta before Ms. Shields left in 2020 following the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.

Since June 2020, when Chief Steve Conrad was removed after policemen killed a well-known restaurant owner in a firefight during that summer’s riots, Ms. Gwinn-Villaroel has served as the fifth person to head Louisville’s police department. Before Ms. Shields took over the agency in January 2021, there were two interim chiefs who stepped in.

Following the shooting death of Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, in her apartment during a no-knock warrant raid in the middle of the night in 2020, Louisville’s police force came under severe public criticism. Last year, four of the cops involved in the shooting were charged.

But before Ms. Taylor’s passing, resentment had been growing between the police and citizens of the community. The findings of an investigation, which showed that the Louisville Metro Police Department habitually violated residents’ constitutional rights, were made public by the U.S. Department of Justice in March.

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β€œFor years, LMPD has practiced an aggressive style of policing that it deploys selectively, especially against Black people, but also against vulnerable people throughout the city,” the report read. According to Ms. Gwinn-Villaroel, she will concentrate on restoring community trust and lowering violent crime in the city.

β€œWe understand that we’ve got to continue to work on those relationships and build upon that community trust that we’re just everyday working on,” Ms. Gwinn-Villaroel said at a news conference. β€œWe are invested in making sure that we get it right.”

We’ll update you if this news changes. Visit our websiteΒ Focushillsboro for the latest news on this issue.

Louis
Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers.As a content writer for Focushillsboro.com, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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