Here’s what to know about new interim Atlanta police chief Rodney Bryant

Atlanta's latest chief has a long history of community service and is well-respected by his colleagues.

Rodney Bryant (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

Atlanta police chief Erika Shields stepped down from her post as a 27-year-old Black man named Rayshard Brooks was killed on her watch by one of her own officers.

READ MORE: New video shows moment Atlanta police fatally shot Rayshard Brooks

While her resignation was swift, as to signal the city’s commitment to police reform, her leadership position within the Atlanta police department will not be vacant. The mayor has announced that Deputy Chief Rodney Bryant will now serve the interim chief.

But many are wondering, “Who exactly is Atlanta’s new top cop?”

Bryant is a highly respected officer within the ranks, who has thus far, served his community well. 

According to 11 Alive News, he joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1988 and held the title of Peace Officer. He remained in that job until going to college to advance his career.
A graduate of Georgia State University, he received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He followed up with a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.
According to Bryant’s LinkedIn, he became Police Deputy Chief for the city of Atlanta in 2015 and served in that capacity before advancing to Assistant Chief of Police in 2017. His official title before this most recent appointment, according to the social media site, is Police Executive Commander in the City of Atlanta.

Rodney Bryant

Deputy Chief Rodney Bryant ( @RodneyB_Atl ) spoke to attendees at Calvary Temple Missionary Baptist Church’s First Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. (Facebook)

He also headed up the department’s Community Service Division. According to Atlanta’s municipal website, this particular division is responsible for “coordinating and facilitating community-oriented policing principles, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport police functions, Special Operations, and Code Enforcement Section operations.”

READ MORE: Atlanta police chief resigns after shooting of Rayshard Brooks

While Bryant has invested in the Atlanta community, he’s also earned national acclaim.

In 2016, he was named Sergeant-at-Arms for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

Bryant believed it to be a “distinct honor” to serve the nation’s most brave and devoted Black officers who serve on thousands of police forces across the country.

He shared, “NOBLE is making a positive impact on the law enforcement community and I’m proud to be an active member of this great organization.”

Faith Abubéy, an award-winning journalist for NBC 11-Alive in Atlanta shares a little more about Bryant’s career in law enforcement in a tweet. She posts, “Here’s what we know about the new/interim police chief in Atlanta: Rodney Bryant, until today, he was in the corrections department. He was responsible for ‘the overall operation and direction of the Atlanta City Detention Center.’” 


READ MORE: Prominent Atlanta leaders react to the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks

Bryant will serve as the interim chief while Mayor Lance Bottom and city officials engage in a nationwide search for a permanent hire. 

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