Chief's Biography


Debra A. Williams

Chief Debra A. Williams has over 34 years of law enforcement experience. She began her career with the City of Atlanta Police Department in 1983 until retiring in 2011 as a Major in rank. She started her tenure as a patrol officer and worked as a plain-clothes officer in Zone 3 and Narcotics until being selected to serve as one of the first female officers in the REDDOG Unit. She then rose through the Department as an Investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Assistant Zone Commander and Major. Before retiring with the City of Atlanta Police Department, Major Williams commanded the day-to-day operations of Executive Protection Unit, Narcotics, Homeland Security, Vice, Gangs and Guns, REDDOG, License and Permits, HIDTA Task Force, Property Control, Personnel Services, Human Resource, Finance, Grants Management, Fleet Services and Background and Recruitment Units. In 2010, she oversaw the Atlanta Police Department's Background and Recruitment Unit's successful effort of hiring a record number of police recruits in a single year. She also served on the project team for the implementation of the citywide video surveillance center, currently known as The Video Integration Center. 

In 2014, she joined the Clayton County Public Schools Police Department as a major. Prior to joining Clayton County Public Schools Police Department, she served as a Senior Police Advisor, and Deputy Team Leader responsible for providing law enforcement instruction, mentoring, and delivery of training programs.

She is a graduate of Georgia Association Chief of Police Executive Training and Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute of Policing (SMIP) in Boston, Massachusetts. She participated in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where she visited Israel and received training on Intervention Strategies for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence in San Salvador. She has a Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and an Associate Degree in Accounting.  She received several commendations throughout her career, such as 2009 Manager of the Year for APD, Female Officer of the Year for the State of Georgia and finalist for Female Officer of the Year with the International Association of Women Police. She is also a Georgia State POST Certified Senior Instructor. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).

In August 2018, she began her new position with the Clark Atlanta University.

She is married to Retired City of Atlanta Major Khirus E. Williams and is a member of the Enon Church in College Park.