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Gwinnett County police chief to retire eight months after taking job

Gwinnett County Chief of Police Tom Doran and former Gwinnett County Chief of Police Butch Ayers pose outside of the Gwinnett County Police Headquarters in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Photo/Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) AJC FILE PHOTO
Gwinnett County Chief of Police Tom Doran and former Gwinnett County Chief of Police Butch Ayers pose outside of the Gwinnett County Police Headquarters in Lawrenceville, Georgia. (Photo/Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) AJC FILE PHOTO

Gwinnett County Police Chief Tom Doran, who was appointed in November, plans to retire from the department next month.

Doran said in a Thursday evening email addressed to police personnel that his last day would be July 17.

“This decision was not easy, but I truly feel it is the right time to pass the torch and begin the next chapter of my life,” he wrote. “I have been very fortunate to be a member of this great agency for nearly 27 years and will cherish every experience and memory.”

When he took over the department last year, Doran said building a better relationship with Gwinnett’s diverse populations was a key priority. His predecessor, Butch Ayers, was in the role for five years.

Doran started at the Gwinnett County Police Department in 1993 as an officer. He is the fifth-straight Gwinnett chief to have risen all the way through the ranks.

Gwinnett County spokesman Joe Sorenson said he could not comment on Doran’s reasons for retiring. A police department public information officer did not immediately respond to a request to speak with Doran.

He will be replaced by Brett West, a deputy chief who also began his career with the department. He started in 1991.