What Chicago P.D.'s Atwater Still Has To Do Before Making Detective, According To LaRoyce Hawkins

While Chicago P.D. is still going strong in Season 10, all three key characters who started off with the rank of officer in Season 1 are still just officers. The cast agreed more than a year ago that it was time for one character to make detective, and LaRoyce Hawkins shared during Season 9 that he was ready for Atwater to get the promotion. Now, the actor has shared what his character still has to do before he gets the bump up to detective. 

LaRoyce Hawkins spoke with CinemaBlend about the recent episode that delivered a personal crisis for Atwater, and how Chief O’Neal compares to Voight and Platt in giving Atwater an “escape option.” When I mentioned to the actor that I’m always hoping to see his character make detective, he shared: 

I hope so too, and I think this episode is a great example of why he can deserve it. Right? I think before Atwater makes detective, we're going to watch him have to make some tough decisions. We're going to watch his leadership grow within the unit. Obviously, there's a space open for detective since Jay is gone. I think Atwater is in a perfect position to be able to move into that slot, but it's not going to be easy. And he has to show his unit and Sarge, more than anybody, that that's the position that he's going to be able to hold down.

While fans are undoubtedly still bummed about losing Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead just three episodes into Season 10, his absence means that Upton is the only detective left in Intelligence alongside four officers. Atwater has been primed for a promotion for years now, and it sounds like he might finally be bumped up to detective in Season 10. If any character can be expected to prove that they have what it takes without breaking the rules as much as others, it would have to be Atwater.

Nothing is ever easy for Atwater on the job, however, and LaRoyce Hawkins was clear that the path to detective would be no different. He has already proven time and again that he’s a dedicated cop; what more will he have to do to prove to Voight and Co. that he’s capable of stepping up? Atwater has already faced opposition within the CPD on more than one occasion, with the unit staying loyal to him. 

Upton might be especially happy if he gets the promotion, in light of her husband’s departure leaving her as the only detective. It’s easy to imagine that she’ll need some backup when it comes to the Sean O’Neal situation. Based on some comments from showrunner Gwen Sigan, viewers will still see more of Sean before the end of 2022. Atwater still has plenty going on whether or not he’s pulled into Upton’s investigation, as he has stepped up as Torres’ mentor

Find out if Atwater does everything that he still needs to do to make detective with new episodes of Chicago P.D. on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. (with one partnership still going strong) and Chicago Med at 8 p.m. You can also start planning ahead for the new year (including when One Chicago returns to primetime) with our 2023 winter premiere schedule.

Big changes have come to One Chicago since the fall TV season started, even beyond Jesse Lee Soffer’s departure. While the Fire cast has remained steady aside from the death of Chief Hawkins, Med has already said goodbye to two major characters in Season 8, with Vanessa most recently bowing out. Ethan will soon be gone as well. Be sure to keep tuning in for how those who are still left keep the action going!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.