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Mayor-elect Craig Greenberg announces Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel as Louisville's interim police chief

"Louisville has welcomed me with open arms and I am honored to be the leader of our Police Department," Gwinn-Villaroel said.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mayor-elect Craig Greenberg announced Louisville's new interim police chief on Friday at the Preston Pointe Building in downtown Louisville.

Jacquelyn 'Jackie' Gwinn-Villaroel will take over Louisville Metro Police on Jan. 2, 2023, when Chief Erika Shields resigns from her position. 

"I'm here to serve, I'm here to make sure the department moves forward, and my goal is dismantle the walls of distrust that has taken over this city," Gwinn-Villaroel said. "We will do this. We can do this. And the time for us to do this is now."

According to a press release, Gwinn-Villaroel was selected after a thorough interview process which included input from Greenberg's 58-person transition team and the entire community.

"My top priorities is staying focus on driving down this violent crime, which has touched my family. My other priority is we rebuild the relationships here in Louisville," Gwinn-Villaroel said.  "And the next priority is to make sure the reforms we already implemented that we keep focus and continue to put those in place."

She currently serves as deputy chief at LMPD, a role she's had since February 2021. She has assisted in leading day-to-day operations for LMPD in addition to several department-wide reforms over the past year and a half. 

"Jackie has extensive experience in law enforcement leadership and reform," Greenberg said. "She is a strong, intelligent community leader and pastor. She is trustworthy and transparent, and Louisville is fortunate Jackie has agreed to serve as Interim Chief of Police."

Gwinn-Villaroel has spent 24 years with the Atlanta Police as a beat officer and served in various other positions such as detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. 

The press release states that in 2020 she was promoted to commander of the Atlanta Police Department's Training Academy before accepting the LMPD deputy chief position last year. 

"Louisville has welcomed me with open arms and I am honored to be the leader of our Police Department," Gwinn-Villaroel said. "From recruitment and training to understanding the role of police in our city, there is important reform happening within this department, and I'm ready to expand the work we're doing to make LMPD better every day."

Gwinn-Villaroel added that she will consider being Louisville's permanent chief if Greenberg and community members believe she is the right fit.

A national search for the permanent LMPD chief will begin after Greenberg's inauguration on Jan 2. 

Watch the full press conference here:

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