Special to CobbLine - November 2011
The Cobb Chamber of Commerce honored Cobb County’s finest Oct. 4 during the organization’s annual Public Safety Appreciation breakfast at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
The sold out event drew a record-breaking crowd of 600 guests and kicked off Public Safety Appreciation Week, a community-wide effort to say “thank you” to the men and women who work to keep Cobb County safe.
Several awards, including the Public Safety Employee of the Year, were presented. Nominations were received from public safety agencies throughout Cobb County, including police, fire, sheriff’s office, campus police and EMS.
Public Safety Employee of the Year
Officer Brett Gossett of the Cobb County Police Department was named the 2011 Public Safety Employee of the Year. Gossett’s conduct both on and off duty sets an example for fellow employees to follow, plus he is supportive and works to promote staff morale. He enhances the department’s reputation through work with schools and advocacy groups across Cobb County.
As the shift trainer for active shooter drills, Gossett has helped line up training facilities and developed training for his fellow officers to initiate some of the most challenging contingency plans.
In his law enforcement career, Gossett has performed lifesaving measures. His thorough police work and investigation skills brought about the end of a major local drug operation and he displayed decisive action and calm under pressure in response to a domestic violence call.
A young family man, Gossett is also a dedicated professional who has made cases and performed deeds in his short career that many long-time veterans have not. He is an exemplary model of law-enforcement professional who has already “been there and done that,” working every day to make the community a better place to live.
Award of Merit
The Award of Merit recognizes an individual for an act of courage, demonstrating genuine care and concern for the residents of the community and going above and beyond the call of duty, often resulting in a life being saved. There were two deserving recipients this year.
Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services Medical Operations Team
It is a highly specialized team of nine paramedics and three EMTs who provide medical support for all special operations teams within Cobb County Public Safety. The team operates on a day-to-day basis as an advanced life support engine company within the fire department.
Cobb County Police Crimes Against Persons-Crimes Against Children Unit
It has taken the lead in child abuse investigations and has an active role in protocol development and training. It plays a vital role in ensuring collaborative, efficient and effective investigations, as well as successful subsequent case management. It is a member of SafePath’s Prevention Arm and helps advocate for legislation to better protect children.
Distinguished Achievement Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes an individual whose service and performance has exceeded the requirements of the job.
For 2011, the Cobb Chamber honored two public safety officials:
Maj. Cliff Kelker, Marietta Police Department
Officer Nicholas Leone, Cobb County Police Department (pictured)
Leone, who joined in 2003, was commended during his first precienct assignment with recovering more stolen autos in one year than any other officer in the history of the department.
As a founding member of the Violent Incident Prevention and Early Response Unit, he leads it in felony arrests.
The Medal of Valor
The Medal of Valor is the highest award recognizing an individual for an act of bravery in a life-threatening situation. The award is only presented when a deserving candidate is found.
This year the Medal of Valor was presented to Patrol Lt. Cliff Yeager of Southern Polytechnic State University.