Why Chicago P.D.'s LaRoyce Hawkins Is Ready For Atwater To Finally Become A Detective

chicago pd laroyce hawkins kevin atwater nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

The Intelligence Unit of Chicago P.D. has gone through a lot of changes over the past few seasons, ranging from the additions (and then departures) of some new characters all the way to Upton and Halstead getting married. One element that hasn’t changed is the rankings of the cops within Intelligence, with Atwater, Burgess, and Ruzek all still ranked as officers with Upton and Halstead as detectives. Now that all three officers are nine seasons in on P.D., I recently spoke with actor LaRoyce Hawkins about Atwater potentially becoming a detective, and he shared some reasons why he’s ready for it to happen.

When I spoke with LaRoyce Hawkins for his latest big episode, I asked if he thinks it’s time for Atwater to finally become a detective. Hawkins not only thinks that it’s time for Atwater, but had some specific reasons why his character should get that promotion: 

Honestly, yes. To answer the question simply, yes. And I'm gonna tell you why. It's because without something, without a position or an opportunity like that, Atwater will feel like there would be nothing to hold on to that would add value to why he would even continue his relationship with law enforcement. Based off what he's been through and based off what he's seen, without the opportunity to really help more people in a specific way, he'd probably rather take his energies elsewhere, probably start buying some real estate, you know? Start finding other ways to help the community, and start finding other ways to serve. Protect and serve, which is his intention. But if he can't protect and serve at a high level in one direction, naturally he would try to do his best to elevate in another. So that's the best way I think I can describe Atwater's relationship right now with the blue side of himself.

After the events of “Lies” that ended with Atwater losing what seemed to be the brightest part of his life in the relationship with Celeste and going through a particularly stressful case with a C.I., it’s easy to understand why Atwater would feel like he needs a win. He has had to make a lot of sacrifices for the sake of his job, and hasn’t moved up in the ranks at CPD in nearly a decade. 

His big episode showed that Atwater really is capable of helping his community in ways other than his work as a cop, with the purchase of a Burnside building and asking a young artist to paint a mural on the side of it. Atwater also arguably crosses lines less often than any other cop in Intelligence and has put in the time, to the point that even most of his co-stars have agreed that Atwater should be the next officer to make detective. 

But will he? There doesn’t seem to be any kind of rule against having more than two detectives per unit, and Voight suggested Atwater for a promotion in an earlier season. Atwater found a way around the situation involving dirty cops in Season 8 that kept his record clean enough to move up the ranks. The show has also gone through some changes behind the scenes with former executive producer Gwen Sigan stepping into the showrunner role, so perhaps some more changes to Intelligence are on the way. And maybe one of those changes could involve Atwater making detective. 

Only time will tell at this point, however, and the plot is moving forward pretty quickly in the second half of Season 9 after the first half dealt with the fallout of Upton and Voight’s secret. Tune in to NBC on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of Chicago P.D. to cap off a full night of One Chicago action, starting with Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET and continuing with Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET. For some more of what to watch and when to watch it, check out our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule.

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 and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).