Apr 15, 2022 - News

Atlanta police chief Rodney Bryant to retire

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant will retire after more than 30 years of service. Credit: Megan Varner/Getty Images

After nearly a year serving as Atlanta's police chief, Rodney Bryant will retire.

Why it matters: Bryant's retirement comes amid concerns about crime in Atlanta since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flashback: Bryant, who joined the Atlanta police force in 1988 as an officer, came out of retirement in June 2020 when he was appointed by former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to replace Erika Shields, who stepped down following the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

What they're saying: Bryant said in a statement that the city needs to have a chief who is willing to serve through Dickens' term as he outlines his plans for the city.

  • "I have so many great memories of my career," the chief said. "I could not be more thankful to be ending my career — again — with the city of Atlanta Police Department."

Mayor Andre Dickens said Atlanta residents owe Bryant a "debt of gratitude for his steady leadership."

  • “I am thankful that the chief agreed to stay on for my first 100 days as mayor, and I have grown to rely on the chief’s counsel during our daily meetings," he said. "We will miss the chief’s leadership as he enjoys his well-earned retirement.”

What's next: City spokesperson Michael Smith told Axios that Bryant's retirement date hasn't been finalized, but it will be some time in June.

  • The city will conduct a national search for a permanent police chief.

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