Doran’s predecessor, Butch Ayers, made improving trust with minority communities a priority. When Doran took over the department in November, he said building better relationships with Gwinnett’s diverse communities was vital.
“We can’t do it without the support of the community,” Doran said last fall. “And I think respecting and understanding that that is fragile, that we have to constantly maintain that trust and that support, those are the things that are not going to change.”
In announcing his retirement, Gwinnett County Administrator Glenn Stephens said Doran returned the department to be essentially fully staffed, something that hasn’t been the case for years.
In his Thursday email, Doran said the department set a standard for others to follow.
“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.”
Doran started at the Gwinnett County Police Department in 1993 as an officer. A former SWAT commander, Doran made $182,000 in his role as chief.
West, who also started his career in Gwinnett, will become the sixth straight chief to have risen through the ranks. He takes control of the department of 878 sworn officers and nearly 300 support staff. West has a Masters of Public Administration from Columbus State University and oversaw the department’s administrative bureau, which includes professional standards, fiscal management, emergency management, the training academy and other divisions.
J.D. McClure will be promoted to deputy chief. McClure, an assistant chief, has been with the department since 1996. With the promotion, he will be the highest-ranking black officer in the department’s history.