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Elaine Bryant will Become Columbus' Next Chief of Police

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Detroit Police Department

Columbus' new police chief will be 48-year old Elaine Bryant, who has served as deputy chief in Detroit.

Bryant will be the first black woman to head the division, and the first to come from outside.

While there has been no official statement from the mayor, the remaining finalists confirmed they had been informed of the decision. Dallas Assistant Chief Avery Moore said he was disappointed with the decision, but former Newark, New Jersey police chief Ivonne Roman, who now heads the 30x30 Initiative that promotes recruiting more women to law enforcement, posted an enthusiastic congratulations on Twitter.

The position is a five-year term, with an option to renew the contract for a second five-year term. Bryant must become a certified Ohio police officer within the first, probationary year.

When Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther asked former chief Tom Quinlan to step down earlier this year, he promised the next chief would come from the outside, in order to address systemic problems within the division.

Bryant will inherit a division that has a strained relationship with much of the community, after the fatal shooting in December of andre Hill, an unarmed black man, and of 16-year old Ma'Khia Bryant in April. Also in April, a federal judge called the divisions response to last summer's protests following the death of George Floyd a "sad tale of police officers...run amok", and issued an injunction barring officiers use of tear gas, pepper spray, and wooden bullets

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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