Atlanta City Council unanimously votes to confirm Police Chief Rodney Bryant

The Atlanta City Council voted to confirm Rodney Bryant as Atlanta Police Department Chief.

The city council voted unanimously, 15-0, to confirm Bryant during its meeting on Monday afternoon.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the council for their full support," Bryant said following the confirmation. "I will continue to work diligently and be responsive to the citizens of this community. I really appreciate the confidence that you all have in me, as well as the mayor, to lead one of the nation's finest police departments. I would be remiss if I did not mention the men and women of the Atlanta Police Department who come to work diligently and support me in leading them. Then lastly, my family, not in that particular order. I have to thank my family for supporting me in this endeavor to come out of retirement."

In May, the Atlanta City Council Public Safety panel unanimously approved Rodney Bryant as chief of the Atlanta Police Department. The final step was for the city council to put the matter to a vote. 

Bryant, appointed Atlanta's Interim Police Chief in 2020 after former chief Erika Shields resigned during the fallout of the police killing of Rayshard Brooks, is a more than 30-year veteran of the department. He first joined APD in 1988 and served as Interim Chief of the Atlanta City Detention Center prior to his appointment in June 2020. 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asked the City Council to confirm him during an April press conference on public safety

"Chief Bryant has served the people of Atlanta with integrity and honor for decades and will continue to build trust between law enforcement and our communities," Bottoms said. "Since his interim appointment, Chief Bryant has led APD through several challenges, while earning the respect of the men and women of APD."

Bryant assumes the role amid scrutiny of police in Atlanta. 

Last week, Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore asked Bryant to attend Monday's meeting to share what is being done to immediately reverse the trend of escalating violence in the city.

At the beginning of Monday's meeting, Bryant addressed a weekend investigation that led to the arrest of a man who allegedly shot at joggers in Buckhead before ramming a pedestrian with a car. 

"There was no indication to us that an individual who legally had a gun would get out and decide to be a serial shooter that day," Bryant said. "I think the response saved lives because we have no indication why he picked out his victims, why he picked out this area, why he did anything."

Bryant said the department is investigating the case as a "serial shooter" incident and said APD is reorganizing to respond to a proliferation of weapons on the streets. 

Bryant said the department is down approximately 400 officers, but the rate of officers leaving the force has slowed. Bryant said APD is focusing more patrols on weekends to prevent crime. 

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