Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant made history as CPD’s first chief from outside the division, and its first African American female Chief. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced Chief Bryant’s selection on June 2nd, 2021, after a nationwide search.
Chief Bryant came to Columbus after more than two decades with the Detroit Police Department. She started her career in law enforcement in August of 2000. In 2006, Chief Bryant was promoted to the rank of sergeant. During her tenure as sergeant, her assignments included Domestic Violence, Office of the Chief Investigator and Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator office.
In November of 2013, Chief Bryant was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. As lieutenant, she served as the Training Director for the Detroit Police Academy. Her duties included managing the Field Training Officer program, Basic Recruit Training, Firearms Training and In-Service Training. She was reassigned to Chief’s Neighborhood Liaison, where she had the opportunity to work closely with the community on many projects such as CITI (Children in Trauma Intervention) Camp, National Night Out, Chief’s Cupid Senior Valentine’s Day Dance, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and PAL’s (Police Athletic League) Team Up program just to name a few. During her time at Chief’s Neighborhood Liaison, she was responsible for the Neighborhood Police Officer program, Reservists, LGBTQ Liaison program, Junior Cadets and Explorers programs, Chaplains and Traffic Safety.
In April of 2016, Chief Bryant was promoted to captain. Her first command as captain was the Tenth Precinct, where she was responsible for the overall operation. In July of 2016, she was reassigned as the Commanding Officer of Homicide. In that role, her top priorities were to ensure that every investigation and complaint received the highest level of service, which included providing social services to victims’ families.
In September 2017, Chief Bryant was promoted to the rank of Commander. She served as the Commanding Officer of Major Crimes where she oversaw Homicide, Arson, Missing Persons, Special Victims Units (Sex Crimes, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse), Crime Scene Services, Commercial Auto Theft and General Assignment Unit. Chief Bryant was reassigned as the Commanding Officer of Professional Standards Bureau in January of 2019, which consisted of Internal Affairs, Force Investigations, Integrity Unit and Disciplinary Administration Unit.
In September 2019, Chief Bryant was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief, serving as the Deputy Chief of Neighborhood Policing Bureau-East. She also oversaw Metropolitan Division, which included Special Response Team, Tactical Services Section, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support, Canine, Harbormaster, Mounted, and Homeland Security.
Chief Bryant holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration; Community Development from Central Michigan University where she graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude). She also holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Bowling Green State University where she graduated with honors (Summa Cum Laude). Chief Bryant is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
The title she holds dearest is that of Mom to her two sons.
“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.”