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Atlanta City Council confirms permanent police chief

Chief Rodney Bryant, whose career has spanned more than three decades, had previously taken retirement before Bottoms asked him to return.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council officially confirmed the city's new police chief Monday night.

Rodney Bryant received a "favorable unanimous" vote to become the permanent Atlanta police chief, a spokesperson for the council told 11Alive on Tuesday.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced plans to remove the interim tag from Bryant's name on May 4 pending the council's official approval. He began his law enforcement career in 1988 when he joined APD as a police officer. 

Bryant, whose career has spanned more than three decades, had previously taken retirement before Bottoms asked him to return.

In January 2015, Bryant was promoted to Deputy Chief, where remained for the next two years. At the conclusion of 2016, Bryant was promoted again, this time to the rank of Assistant Chief, until his retirement from the police force in April 2019.

Bottoms asked Bryant to come back on May 29, 2020, when "the city was literally burning" to take over the joint operation command center and he willingly came back. 

Credit: Atlanta Police Department
Interim Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant

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On June 13, Bottoms named Bryant the interim police chief for the Atlanta Police Department after she received the resignation of Chief Erika Shields.

He has more than 2,800 hours of law enforcement continuing education over the course of his career, including ongoing training in firearms and supervision. 

Additional notable training includes gangs, de-escalation techniques, use of deadly force, active shooter response, and human trafficking.

Bryant received a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University and a MSA in General Administration from Central Michigan University, according to his self-reported Linked-In page.