Mayor Ginther Appoints Elaine Bryant Chief of Police
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther
today announced Elaine R. Bryant as the first-ever African American woman and external
candidate to serve as chief of police for the City of Columbus. Bryant is
currently the deputy chief of police for the City of Detroit, MI, and was
selected after an extensive national search and community engagement process.
“It is with great pride
and enthusiasm that I announce Elaine Bryant as our City's next chief of police,”
said Mayor Ginther. “She is a transformational leader with sound judgment and considerable
experience, an effective advocate for change whose actions are rooted in compassion,
empathy and engagement with those whom she serves and leads. I am confident
that she is the right leader at the right time for the City of Columbus.”
Bryant is a 21-year
veteran of the Detroit Police Department where she served in multiple
capacities, including patrol, investigations and administration. During that
time, she ascended through the ranks – having been promoted five times from
patrol officer to deputy chief – and coordinated Detroit’s response to several
high-profile events, including the 2006 Super Bowl.
A strong proponent for
inclusion and reform, Bryant supported efforts to completely overhaul
investigations in compliance with a Department of Justice decree, led the Domestic
Violence Unit, worked in the Equal Employment Opportunity Office and Internal
Affairs Unit, collaborated with Detroit’s civilian oversight board, and created
and expanded numerous community relations projects to strengthen ties between
police and residents.
Bryant holds a bachelor’s
degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in criminal
justice administration from Bowling Green State University.
“I am deeply honored to
serve as Columbus’ next police chief,” said Bryant. “This is a pivotal moment
to be stepping into this role, and I am firmly committed to embracing change,
diversity, and clear and open communication to improve safety, enhance
accountability and rebuild trust between officers and the community.”
“As our City continues to
see an increase in violent crime, it is vitally important that we advance the
important work of implementing a 21st-century community-policing model,” said
Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus. “Chief Bryant has a proven track
record of diversifying and transforming law enforcement to improve
effectiveness and quality of outcomes. I look forward to seeing her make a
similar impact in Columbus.”
Bryant was chosen from a
strong pool of 34 applicants and rose to the top after extensive interviews and
a community town hall.
The announcement of a new chief
follows several actions by Mayor Ginther to reform the Columbus Division of
Police. Within the last year alone, Mayor Ginther seated the City’s first-ever voter-approved
Civilian Police Review Board; issued an Executive Order directing the Ohio
Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation to independently
investigate all fatal use-of-force cases and deaths in police custody; changed
use-of-force policies in response to non-violent protests; and enacted “Andre’s
Law” to ensure proper care for anyone injured by law enforcement.
Last month, Mayor Ginther unveiled
the Alternative Response Pilot Program, which will embed social workers and
mental health nurses within the City’s 9-1-1 dispatch center to triage non-emergency
calls involving mental health issues, substance abuse and medical conditions
that can be better addressed by other City resources or local social services.