But Roswell’s new police chief is getting a lot of satisfaction from his new job.
“I had become really bored in my old position and it had me looking for more of a challenge. I’m definitely getting that here in Roswell,” James Russell “Rusty” Grant said.
When he took the deputy chief’s job in the Roswell police department in October, it wasn’t without a few concerns about increased demands on his time.
As special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations regional drug office in Canton, Grant had a largely supervisory role that allowed him ample opportunities to be involved in his sons’ lives.
Twenty-two days after becoming deputy chief, then-police chief Duane Orrick resigned. Grant found himself tapped first as interim chief, then officially given the job on a permanent basis in March.
That is when his life really changed.
“I didn’t see that coming. It totally caught me by surprise,” Grant said of Orrick’s exit and his own subsequent appointment. “I was still learning this police department.”
Now Grant’s time is taken up not only by administrative duties but also by significant interaction with the public, city government employees and city council, including some after-hours meetings.
He has kept his home in Cherokee County because his sons are still in school there, and he remains an assistant scoutmaster and den leader in Canton, carving out as much time in his schedule as possible for the boys – Dylan, 12, and Walker, 10.
“I don’t get a lot of sleep,” Grant said with a chuckle. “But we’re in the process of hiring a deputy chief, the position I was promoted from, and once we have that in place, he or she will take over many of the duties I do now in my dual role.”
Raised in Conyers, Grant, 53, began his law enforcement career in 1980 as a Rockdale County deputy before moving to the GBI, where he worked for 32 years. Being a municipal chief has been an interesting change, he said.
“To me, the biggest difference between working local and state law enforcement is the speed at which things happen,” Grant said.
“At the local level, we have to be much more immediately responsive. Things move much more quickly and at first it took me some time to get used to that.”
Another change is having to speak publicly on a regular basis, such as at city council meetings.
“I’m a really a very private person, so that’s been a really different role for me, but I’m adjusting fairly well.”