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Former Police Deputy Chief Takes Over Louisville Youth Detention Services

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The new director of Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services is a 24-year veteran of Louisville Metro Police.

Yvette Gentry retired late last year from Louisville Metro Police with the rank of deputy chief; she was responsible for the department's patrol divisions.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Gentry's hiring on Friday. Fischer said Gentry will oversee youth detention, diversion and development in her new role.

“Yvette will work with the judicial branch, the county attorney, the Crime Commission and the Office for Juvenile Justice," Fischer said.

Gentry said she will look to reduce the number of young people "under correctional control."

To do that, she said she wants to bring more opportunities to young people.

"We've got to give our kids something to say yes to," she said. "It's our job to make sure we give them every avenue to succeed."

She said young people need access to education, as well as the ability to interact with successful members of the community.

During her career with the police department, Gentry assisted in creating a centralized domestic violence unit, she piloted the department's first "crime text alert" system in 2012 and led weekly Compstat meetings to coordinate crime control and prevention activities throughout the police department.

She also worked to expand the Gentlemen's Academy, which aims to provide young men with positive reinforcements. The Gentlemen's Academy was recently the subject of a lawsuitagainst three Louisville Metro Police officers at the academy alleging abuse.

Gentry said she isn't looking to add more programming like the Gentlemen's Academy to help reduce youth incarceration levels.

"I said I would never take a job again that I have to do more programming that policy," she said. "There are some policy changes that I want to make."

Her first job, she said, will be "digging in" to the inner workings of Youth Detention Services.

"I don't know about what goes on in the walls of YDS," she said. "The people doing the work directly with the kids are doing a great job so far, but I need to know what they are before I say I want to fix them or tweak them or do something different."

Gentry will earn $94,600 in her new role, a spokesman with the Mayor's office said. As deputy chief with LMPD she earned nearly $120,000, according to a city database.

She will continue to get retirement benefits, but her new position will not boost that benefits, the spokesman said.

Gentry succeeds Clarence Williams, who left as director earlier this year to take a job in Cincinnati with his family’s business, according to a news release.

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.