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'She’s got a lot of ground to make up as it relates to our officers': FOP reacts to new chief introduction

President Ryan Nichols says they were cautiously optimistic until Wednesdays press conference

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Erika Shields introduced herself to Louisville Wednesday as LMPD's new chief but what started as cautious optimism for the FOP, quickly changed.

"What you say is important. How you say it is important. How it's perceived is very important and how it's received is very important and I just think that was done poorly yesterday," said FOP President, Ryan Nichols.

Nichols says she made claims throughout the press conference including mischaracterizing facts in the Breonna Taylor case.

"Basically an allegation that we don't police the same across the county or that search warrants don't happen in white neighborhoods," Nichols said.

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Prior to her introduction, they were hopeful she would bring some positive change to the department and the community. Nichols says as a former cop on the streets, he had heard she really listens to her officers. That's the same message we heard from the President of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers in Atlanta, where she left in June after 25 years and 3.5 years as chief.

"The fact that as a union rep that we're willing to talk good about the chief should say something," said Vince Champion, the President of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. "Give her that chance. She's changed it here, she's changed lives here, both in law enforcement and the community, just give it a chance."

So after this first impression, Nichols says it's going to take some time to build trust with his members.

"They are going to hard pressed to take what she says and her new message and get behind that," Nichols said.

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