Chief Erika Shields joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1995. During her tenure, she has served as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and major prior to her appointment to chief.
Chief Shields worked as a beat officer and in a plainclothes assignment in Zone Three for approximately eight years. The plainclothes assignment involved conducting multiple search warrants, narcotics and vice details, and investigating robberies.
As a sergeant, Chief Shields was initially assigned to Zone 4 and then transitioned to the Office of Professional Standards. During her time in the Office of Professional Standards, she conducted Internal Affairs investigations before moving to the Advocacy Unit. As a member of the Advocacy Unit, she liaised with the Law Department in reviewing and presenting disciplinary files to the Chief of Police.
After attaining the rank of lieutenant she was assigned to Zone 4, where she served as the Evening Watch Commander. Her next assignment was as the commander of the department’s Planning and Research/Accreditation Unit, which develops and implements all departmental policies and facilitates the CALEA accreditation process; the Staff Inspections Unit, which oversees all of the inspections associated with the re-accreditation process; and the Extra Job Unit, which is responsible for the oversight of outside employment for employees.
In January 2010, Chief Shields was appointed to the rank of major and assumed the role of Chief of Staff, managing the daily activities of the Chief’s office. In 2011, Chief Shields was appointed to the rank of deputy chief and selected to command the new Strategy and Special Projects Division. During her time in the division, Deputy Chief Shields was responsible for the furtherance of the department’s state-of-the-art Video Integration Center, researched and identified technological measures to support the crime analysis process the department utilizes, and engaged the department in the development of a comprehensive strategic plan. In January 2013, Deputy Chief Shields transitioned to the Support Services Division where her primary responsibilities include managing 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. Deputy Chief Shields holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Webster University and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University.