The 2013 Metro Atlanta Urban Areas Security Initiative awarded the Cobb County Police Department with a more than $1.3 million grant to purchase new equipment. This grant is part of the Law Enforcement Operations/Specialty Teams Urban Area Security Initiative project. The grant included a Lenco BearCat SWAT vehicle for the Cobb County Police SWAT Team, a pontoon boat for the Cobb County Police Dive team and equipment that can be used by the Cobb County Police Bomb Squad during a biohazard-explosive situations.
In December 2012, the Quality of Life Unit became part of a joint operation to reduce crime in the Six Flags Drive area. The unit focused on violations that were visible to the public and that made the area look dilapidated, such as trash, debris, buildings in disrepair and junk cars. During the months that the unit focused on Six Flags Drive, a noticeable difference was made in the appearance of the area. Crime statistics also showed a reduction in some criminal offenses. The Quality of Life Unit then moved on to other areas and finished out the fiscal year by starting a similar project in the mobile home communities on Atlanta Road.
During Fiscal Year 2013, the Quality of Life unit had a 25 percent increase in arrests, 54 percent increase in citations issued, and more than 100 percent increase in the number of violation notices issued. Over half of this year’s arrests involved drugs, weapons and locating wanted fugitives.
The agency also hosted two Safety Blitz/Block Parties for the south Cobb area. These events allowed employees to interact with the community they serve in a fun and lighthearted setting, It also enabled residents to learn more about services and ways they can keep themselves safe. All public safety departments were represented.
The Cobb County Police Department 2013 active shooter training was conducted in cooperation with Lockheed Martin at facilities associated with its assembly plant. Training was a joint venture incorporating principles of unified command, with participants from the Cobb County Police Department, Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services, Cobb County 911 Communications and Lockheed Martin Security and Emergency Services. Assistance and support was also provided by the Cobb County Emergency Management Agency Community Emergency Response Team program and CCPD Explorer program in the form of volunteers to act as civilian/employee role players in an industrial setting.
The Emergency Communications 911 center deployed an upgrade to the 911 phone system. The $1.2 million upgrade, including installation and maintenance, will be instrumental for the future addition of Automatic Call Distribution and eventually the addition of receiving text messaging for emergency calls.
In 2014, the current Computer Aided Dispatch system will be upgraded in the 911 center to the latest version. The upgrade will provide mobile mapping, automatic vehicle location and other features at a cost of $1.9 million.
The 911 center will implement the Automatic Call Delivery system currently available in the E911 Viper Phone System. This system would alleviate the need for dispatchers to multi-task the responsibilities of the Police, Fire or Sheriff radio positions, while simultaneously answering incoming 911 and administrative calls.
Cobb Emergency Management Agency launched a new and innovative outdoor warning siren system called WeatherWarn to activate during severe inclement weather. The $23,700 system, purchased with Emergency Management Preparedness Grant funding, takes the GPS coordinates from the path of a tornado and activates the sirens within that area. It also allows the opportunity to update social media sites and send e-mails to a weather distribution list. This system gives a more accurate warning to Cobb County citizens by sounding the sirens in only the affected area. Cobb EMA and 911 will also continue to have the option of activating sirens manually to guarantee maximum effectiveness in alerting residents.
Cobb’s Community Emergency Response Team trained more than 100 new members in 2013. There are a total of 1,457 members who have been trained and the program continues to be the largest in the state. This year, six initial training courses and 20 skills sustainment courses were offered to these volunteers. They also participated in a number of events, such as two Cobb County Public Safety Educational Block Parties, the North Georgia State Fair, Helicopter Days, Acworth Police Department’s Cover All Bases, East Cobb Community Health Drive-Thru Flu Shots Event and Lockheed Martin’s week-long active shooter exercise.
The BullsEye Laser-Driven Fire Extinguisher Training System, also purchased this year through EMPG grant funding ($11,166), has been an excellent tool in training fire safety techniques to residents going through the CERT Initial Training, as well as to the public at outreach events such as the Public Safety Educational Block Party held in October.
Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services purchased four F-150 Ford pick-ups for inspectors in the fire marshal’s office, at the cost of $18, 250 each and one Ford Fusion hybrid vehicle for the fire chief at the cost of $27,759.
The following Apparatus was purchased with SPLOST funds.
· Ladder truck 4 - $1,095,821, put into service in February 2013.
· Ladder truck 22 - $1,095,821, put into service in February 2013.
· Air Truck 27 - $317,810, put into service in January 2013.
· Air Bottle Support vehicle for station 30 - $88,730, put into service in April 2013.
In Fiscal Year 2013, the Fire Marshal’s Office completed 14,813 fire inspections, plan reviews and code enforcement activities that resulted in $455,000 of revenues. This includes all fire code citations and fees as well as citations written by the Fire Investigations Unit for fire lane violations and unauthorized burning. More than $62,000 in revenue was directly attributable to citations.
The Fire Marshal’s Office answered 341 fire code complaints. This is an increase of 43 percent since 2009. Indicative of an improving economy, the FMO also issued 1,668 permits in Fiscal Year 2013; the most since Fiscal Year 2008.
In July, the Fire Marshal’s Office required that all new construction inspection requests be completed online. The implementation of this policy played a major role in reducing the number of phone calls received by more than 3,000 calls. The Fire Marshal’s Office is currently working on the implementation of a similar online request system for plan review appointments.
Thirty one recruits completed the 28-week dual certification academy for fire and emergency medical technicians in March 2013. This was the first recruit class graduation in nearly three years. All 31 recruits successfully completed the program receiving national certifications as Advanced EMTs and state certified firefighters. These firefighters are serving the residents of Cobb at their newly assigned stations.
Cobb County Public Fire and Life Safety Division taught more than 59,000 students during more than 1,700 classes throughout the year. The department distributed 621 smoke alarms and installed 67.
Public safety staff developed a pawn shop ordinance whereby stolen items can be more easily discovered and criminals caught by use of a pawn shop inventory database. This database allows police officers to check items reportedly stolen against the items in pawn shops. This should result in more property crimes being solved and property recovered.
The Cobb County Police Explorer Post 5 had more than two dozen Explorers (ages 14-21) participate in 2013. The Explorers competed in a number of competitions, winning first place overall for the fifth straight year at the Georgia State Championship in April. The Explorers also competed in the South East Regional Championship and finished first, second and fourth place in team competitions. The Explorers had more than 2,900 hours of community service for 2013.
In June, the Cobb County Police Athletic League hosted a youth football camp at the Wallace Park recreational fields. Our goal was to provide the children with a positive and enjoyable experience, regardless of their skill or ability. Officers and civilian coaches combined to give the children a 5 to 1 coach to child ratio. The Cobb County Explorers worked diligently registering approximately 45-65 campers per day with an approximate individual attendance of 140 campers.
Animal Control held numerous events at the shelter, boosting adoptions by 400 animals and strengthening relationships with local rescue shelters.