Vincent James is the new chief of community building. | Courtesy of Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government

Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed a new member to his senior leadership team.

Vincent James, faith- and community-based coordinator in the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods, was named Louisville’s chief of community building, a position designed to help sculpt the city’s public safety strategy.

“Vincent James is a prime example of a citizen stepping up to be the one to make a difference in the life of a young person, and that why he’s the perfect choice for a leadership role as we work every day toward a city where every single person has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential,” Fischer said in a news release.

The mayor was referring to city’s #Bethe1 initiative, which aims to get citizens, business owners and other to take action to help reduce violence in Louisville.

As chief of community building, James will oversee departments including Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods, Public Health & Wellness, Youth Detention Services, the Louisville Zoo and Metro Parks & Recreation.

“Louisville has strong teams in every agency that work toward our goal of building a stronger community, and I’m looking forward to working with them to build on the good work that’s been done over nearly seven years,” James said in the release.

In addition to this role, James also is pastor of Elim Baptist Church in the Parkland neighborhood and is involved with nonprofits that spearhead community building efforts.

He succeeds Yvette Gentry, who is leaving for health reasons. Gentry was appointed to the role in September 2015.

“I believe in the work, my team and their efforts to make the city a better place,” Gentry said in the release. “I appreciate the opportunity that Mayor Fischer gave me and wish the team the very best going forward.”

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