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Columbus community ready to welcome next police chief

People in the Columbus community said they are ready to welcome Elaine Bryant as the next police chief and hope she can help reduce the violence in the city.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The city of Columbus officially has a new chief of police.  

Elaine Bryant was named the new chief Wednesday afternoon.  

Bryant is the first Black woman to be named chief in Columbus. This is something Keeandra Brown can smile about.  

“We needed a change. I feel that we should give her a chance to see what she can do,” Brown said.

Brown is a mother that lost her son Brenden to gun violence in 2019. She said her son’s case is still unsolved. Brown is hoping the new chief can help end the violence.  

“It’s way too many families grieving the loss of their loved ones. We need that justice so we can move forward in our life,” she said.  

John Gregory and Jerry Saunders are with the organization Men of Ubuntu. It’s an organization of Black men in Central Ohio that speak up for the community.  

“That’s what the Black community needs," Gregory said. “They need someone who can talk to them the way that they need the communication.” 

The two say the group talked with Mayor Andrew Ginther and city leaders leading up to the decision of the new police chief.  

Saunders told 10TV the people must welcome in and work with the new chief. 

“It should be the entire community. All of us should be involved and hold ourselves accountable to what’s going on in our community,” Saunders said. 

Bryant has 21 years of law enforcement under her belt with her last role being deputy chief in Detroit. She admitted her concerns about the violence in the city but believes prevention is key.  

That’s something Brown is on board with.  

“She’s coming into this situation with a big task at hand. So, we all have to do our part to assist getting this crime reduced,” said Brown.

Bryant must become certified through the Ohio Peace Officer Training academy which is normal for those transferring from out of state.

Interim Chief Mike Woods will stay on to lead the division until Bryant transitions into the role.

RELATED: Columbus Mayor Ginther announces Elaine Bryant as new chief of police

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