Just one day after announcing the apprehension of 57 criminals – including 12 homicide suspects – in a matter of weeks, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said Friday he will retire in June.
This will be Bryant’s second retirement from the force. He was recalled to duty as interim chief in 2020 in the wake of Erika Shields’ resignation following the officer-involved shooting of Rayshard Brooks.
Mayor Andre Dickens said a national search will be conducted for a permanent replacement. “I look forward to identifying a leader that shares our vision of an Atlanta that is safe and welcoming for all our residents and visitors,” he said.
“Chief Bryant has answered our city’s call time and again, and I join all of Atlanta’s residents in owing him a debt of gratitude for his steady leadership,” said Mayor Dickens. “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. We will miss the Chief’s leadership as he enjoys his well-earned retirement.”
Bryant originally joined the Atlanta Police Department as an officer in 1988. He was serving as interim chief of the Atlanta City Detention Center when he was asked to return after Shields’ departure. He was confirmed as chief by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms last May.
“I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve the city that I love and call home,” Bryant said. “As Mayor Dickens plans his leadership strategies for this great city, I believe it is essential that he and the City of Atlanta have a Chief of Police who is willing to serve throughout his term. I have so many great memories of my career. I could not be more thankful to be ending my career—again—with the City of Atlanta Police Department.”
The Atlanta City Council issued the following statement after the retirement announcement: “Over the course of his decorated career, Chief Bryant showed true dedication to the department and took on tough challenges facing our city. His leadership played a consequential and positive role in shaping the community, and he showed a passion and commitment toward keeping us safe. We are deeply grateful for his service to Atlanta.”