Cleophas Atwater was appointed Chief of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office on January 1, 2021. He began his career as a Gwinnett County Police Officer in December 1996 as a member of the 37th Police Academy.
In September 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where he served as the South Precinct Watch Commander, and as the Assistant Commander in the Criminal Investigations Division.
In April 2016, he was appointed by the Chief of Police to serve as the Gwinnett County Special Weapons and Tactics Team Commander, dedicating over 19 years of honorable service. Appointed to Major in May 2018, he served as the Special Investigations Section Commander.
Chief Atwater has earned promotions at regular intervals, as a Detective Sergeant he directed operations in specialized units such as Homicide, Robbery, Narcotics, VICE, and the Gang Unit. He has earned several certifications from the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.), including: General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, and Defensive Tactics Instructor. He has obtained more than 4,337 hours of basic and specialized training.