Bryant’s comments came two days after he told the Atlanta City Council that he’s “immediately restructuring” his department following the latest violent weekend that involved a shooting spree in Buckhead. Later Monday afternoon, the council confirmed Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ appointment of Bryant as the permanent police chief.
Bottoms appointed Bryant as interim chief in June 2020 after Chief Erika Shields submitted her resignation. Shields resigned the day after a white police officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, a Black man.
Bryant has announced several changes to the department’s structure, including a centralized investigations unit, a new domestic violence unit, expansion of the gun assault unit, and additional inspectors for the license and permitting team. APD officers will continue to work with various law enforcement agencies and community groups, including programs for children, he said.
“When our youth don’t have anything to do, they find something else to do,” Bryant said. “They tend either to be the perpetrators of something or the victims of some crime.”
The chief also encouraged neighborhood watch groups and other “community policing” to help the department fight crime.
“We’re doing everything that we possibly can to expand our response to violent crime,” Bryant said. “But violent crime cannot be fought with just police alone.”