During November, the Cobb County Police Department hosted an active shooter training exercise at Town Center Mall. The police department, Cobb Sheriff’s Department, Cobb County Emergency Management Agency, Kennesaw Police Department, Acworth Police Department, Kennesaw State University Police Department, Georgia Defense Force, Cobb Fire Department, Cobb County 911, Metro Ambulance Service and Town Center Mall Security Team participated in the training.
The training exercise was designed to test the abilities and skills of law enforcement officers in a realistic active shooter event. It was also used to test skills and procedures of Cobb County EMS first responders. The training exercise was the culmination of an intensive and lengthy training period where police officers developed and improved their skills in response to an active shooter event. Supervisors were also trained to become incident commanders and utilize their new skills to transition into a Unified Command with other law enforcement and EMS agencies.
In April, the Cobb Police Department Bomb Unit was awarded a grant, in the amount of $49,000, from the Department of Homeland Security to build capabilities that enhance homeland security. The funds will be used to purchase explosive ordinance equipment and Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives equipment.
The FY2011 Metro Atlanta Urban Areas Security Initiative Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Equipment Project Award (UASI Grant) totaled $454,365 for Fire and Emergency Services. This includes radiological monitors for the Cobb Fire and Emergency Services Hazmat Team and a $300,000 decontamination trailer for the Special Operations Division.
Cobb County completed preventative maintenance on 73 sirens in 2012 to ensure functionality and identify any mechanical issues. The total cost was $18,250 and was paid for from the Emergency Management Planning Grant provided through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. EMA was awarded a Response and Recovery Grant in November 2012 and is in the process of totally replacing several older sirens, which will decrease maintenance costs in the coming year.
The police department entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Metro Atlanta UASI to standardize first responders on required equipment. UASI awarded the department equipment valued at $168,249 to protect first responders and provide decontamination equipment/resources during a disaster.
The police department finished replacing all in-car camera systems for patrol vehicles with digital technology. Digital technology allows for more efficient recording, transmission and storage of the video as well as enhancing communications with the judicial system. This completed a multi-year project to standardize all patrol and special operations vehicles with the digital system.
The K9 Unit received a single-purpose explosives ordinance detection canine from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to enhance bomb detection capabilities. The K9 Unit also acquired two replacements for canines that were retired in 2012.
The Cobb County Police Athletic League expanded in 2012 to include a football camp in addition to the track team. In June, Cobb PAL hosted a youth football camp at Wallace Park recreational fields. The goal was to provide children with a positive and enjoyable experience in which each player had the opportunity to develop new skills, gain confidence and learn life lessons regarding the importance of teamwork, responsibility, sportsmanship and discipline. The four day camp was divided in half offering the first two days for children 5-8 years of age and the last two days for children 9-12.
The second year of the Cobb PAL Track Team was a great success with 110 athletes competing on the spring track team and participating in 10 regular season meets, the county championship meet, the district meet and the GRPA state meet. All the runners participated in the county championship with the top three runners in each event qualifying for the district meet. Cobb PAL won 23 medals at the state meet. Cobb police officers volunteered more than 700 hours to the program from the last week in January through May 2012.
The Cobb County Police Explorers Post had 24 explorers (ages 14-21) participate in 2012. The Explorers competed in a number of competitions, winning first place overall at the Georgia State Championship in April and the Metro Atlanta Championship in October. Explorers participated in competitions in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and the national championships in Fort Collins, Colo., placing well in the team competitions. The explorers had more than 2,000 hours of community service for 2012.
Cobb County fire and Emergency Services purchased two new F-250 crew cab diesel trucks for battalion chiefs in northwest and southeast Cobb, two F-150 crew cabs for use as hydrant trucks and an E-250 cargo van for use as the logistics vehicle. Three new Pierce Engines, which cost $497,000 each, were funded with money from the 2011 SPLOST one percent sales tax.
In Fiscal Year 2012, the Fire Marshal’s Office collected more than $75,000 in revenue from citations. In the first full year of active enforcement, more than $50,000 was collected from fire lane parking citations written by the Fire Investigations Unit.
The Fire Marshal’s Office answered 334 fire code complaints. This is up 23 percent from the previous year and is an increase of 86 percent since 2008.
In FY2012, the Fire Marshal’s Office completed 14,234 fire inspections, plan reviews, and code enforcement activities that resulted in $465,000 of revenues. (This includes all citations, written by Fire Investigations for fire lane violations and unauthorized burning.)
In April, the Medical Operations Team was recognized by the Cobb BAR Association with the “Public Safety Officer of the Year” Award at its annual awards ceremony. This award is presented to an individual or team based on their contributions toward the improvement of public safety to the residents of Cobb County.
The Cobb Public Fire and Life Safety Education Division completed class instruction and student participation for 2012, totaling 53,247 students and 1,859 classes taught.
The Cobb Police Department purchased 385 AR-15 patrol rifles under the 2011 SPLOST program for a total of $500,000. Officers are in the process of training with their individually assigned rifles.
Cobb Emergency Management Agency was awarded a $250,000 grant in 2008 to enhance the Emergency Operations Center. The EOC grant was revised in 2011 to accommodate changes in the county budget. The EOC renovation was finished in June 2012 complete with acoustical ceiling tiles and wall panels for sound quality, as well as a kitchenette to better accommodate needs during activation. To improve functionality in an emergency or activation, new work stations were built and the agency maintains new laptops that are ready to use continually. Security cameras were added to the Emergency Operation Center and the Headquarters building for safety purposes. These additions allow Cobb County to maintain a superior level of service to residents during a crisis.
Cobb’s Community Emergency Response Team trained more than 100 new members in 2012. There are a total of 1,353 members who have been trained and the program continues to be the largest in the state. This year, six initial training courses and more than 15 skills sustainment courses were offered to these volunteers, including three Step Drill exercises. They also participated in a number of events, such as Relay for Life, Marietta Public Safety Expo and a large-scale Active Shooter exercise.
This year projects were selected to provide a direct impact on the efficiency of emergency communications services and operations but reflect a conservative budgetary agenda.
Severe weather events can occur at any time of day or night. Cobb County 911 has launched a Weather Warning Service as an extension of the current CodeRED notification service to augment the outside weather sirens. To participate, businesses and residents in Cobb County may choose to sign up via the Cobb Web by providing up to two telephone numbers and their geographic location. The system does not text, but provides a 24/7 automated pre-recorded call-out initiated by the National Weather Service with no intervention from Cobb 911. The addition of the Weather Notification call service is $7,000 annually.
The Motorola Premier Computer Aided Dispatch System in the 911 center expedites the call taking process. It automatically distributes a call to the dispatcher handling the police beat, fire station or support agency closest to the location of the call. The system assists dispatchers in all functions. Call information, unit recommendation and an interface with computers in officers’ cars help coordinate emergency response and ensure officer safety. Premier CAD interfaces with multiple systems that provide the dispatcher with mission critical information such as the 911 phone system, the mapping system and the emergency medical instructions program. Cobb 911 opted to upgrade the Premier CAD to the Premier One CAD at a cost of $1.9 million without compromising features. This was a considerable savings and cut training time over purchasing a new system that is twice as expensive.