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A Refugee Goes From 'Lost Boy' Of Sudan To APD Officer

Feb 17, 2017
Officer Jacob Mach stands with Chief Erika Shields at the swearing in ceremony on Tuesday.
Courtesy of Atlanta Police Department

Jacob Mach was sworn in as an Atlanta police officer in February. What separates him from the others in his graduating class is that he's a refugee – a "Lost Boy" of Sudan.

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Mach was one of 20,000 boys forced from their home in Sudan in 1987 because of the Second Sudanese Civil War. Only half survived the thousand-mile trek by foot to a refugee camp in Kenya.

Mach was a child when he escaped, but he still remembers that journey.

Chief Erika Shields outlines her top priorities as the city's new police chief.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE News

The Atlanta Police Department has almost 150 open jobs right now, and filling those spots is a top priority for the city's new police chief.

Chief Erika Shields says she will focus not only on hiring new officers but maintaining them.

On the drawing board right now: a 4-year plan with incremental pay increases.

APD, APS Police Chiefs Agree To Share Information

Jan 13, 2017
Atlanta Public School police Chief says there's no need for the Atlanta City Council to pass a resolution.
Alison Guillory / WABE

The police chief for the Atlanta Public Schools system says there will be no need for a city resolution to get his department to share information with the Atlanta Police Department.

Atlanta City Council members introduced a resolution earlier this month asking the school police force to provide the APD with regular updates on truancy and crime statistics in the school district.

They pointed to a recent crime spree at gas stations that city police say is largely the work of juveniles.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced the retirement of Chief George Turner and selection of Deputy Chief Erika Shields as the next Atlanta police chief.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Mayor Kasim Reed has announced Deputy Chief Erika Shields will be the second woman in the city’s history to lead the Atlanta Police Department.

In 1994, Beverly Harvard was named the first black woman in the position. Shields said at a press conference Thursday, "not to slight other cities," but Atlanta has always had a higher standard.

Tasnim Shamma / WABE

A new police chief has been named for the city of Atlanta.

Mayor Kasim Reed announced Thursday that deputy chief Erika Shields was appointed the position as the city's 24th police chief. She is replacing George Turner, who is retiring.

Shields will start Dec. 28.

She is a 21-year-old veteran of the Atlanta Police Department serving as patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, major and deputy chief of the Field Operations Division.