Cobb County Government

1990 - 1999

1990

The population of Cobb County is 447,745.

The department has 413 sworn employees, 155 civilian employees, and 102 part-time employees.

A five person Motorcycle Unit was added to the Special Operations to assist with traffic enforcement.

A "Cobra Unit" was added to the MCS-Narcotics Unit. The Cobra Unit consisted of two Cobb PD, two Cobb SO and two Marietta PD officers. The purpose of the unit was to provide highly visible drug enforcement at the street level. Sgt. Sam Akers is assigned as the first commander.

Bomb Squad purchases its first X-Ray Machine & Bomb Suit.

 

 

1991

Precinct 1 and Awtrey Middle School teamed up in the Partners in Education Program.

 

 

1992

Precinct 3 moves from Cumberland Mall to a larger location at 1250 Winchester Parkway.

A Tactical Squad was formed from SWAT Team members. Their mission is to support patrol operations as a pro-active unit and to assist with high risk encounters. Sergeant S.L. Merrifield, Officer Robert Anthony, Officer Danny Hubbard, Officer Steve Reeves, Officer Tom Flugum, Officer Tom Arnold, Officer Jeff Patellis, and Officer Steve McDaniel were the first members.

The Police Department has 411 sworn officers, 159 civilian employees, and 127 part-time employees.

The Police Department received 297,787 calls for service.

In November the voters of Cobb County approved a bond referendum to fund a new Animal Control Shelter.

 

 

1993

Culver Johnson becomes Chief of Police and serves from 1993-1996.

Community Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) Unit is started in the south Cobb area. Officer Charles Spann, Officer Nick McKnight, Officer Conrad Rudd, Officer Tony Sewell, Officer Dale Bolenbaugh, and Officer Dean Johnson were the first members.

In March of 1993 the Drew Brown Community Service Award is presented for the first time at the departments Annual Awards Ceremony. Detective Gordy Kilgore is the first recipient. The award is presented to a deserving officer in recognition of their outstanding community service. The award is in memory of Officer Drew Brown who was killed in the line of duty in 1983.

On July 13, 1993 while checking a suspicious person near the railroad tracks in the Elizabeth area, Officer Robert J. Ingram is shot to death by a man who had recently been released from prison. Officer Ingram was the first Cobb County Police Officer killed by a firearm in the line of duty. Officer Robbie Ingram is posthumously awarded the Cobb County Police Department Medal of Valor.

 

 

1994

The Department of Public Safety is created which the Police Department, Fire Department, 911 Communications, Animal Control and the Cobb County Correctional Institute under one command. Robert Hightower is named Director.

The new 800 MHz trunked radio system is brought on line.

Two canines, Ronnie and Lewis, were added to the K-9 unit bringing the total to four. Sergeant Ronnie Simons was "Ronnie's" handler and Officer Tom Clark was "Lewis" handler.

Video cameras installed in all patrol units.

Cobb County hosts the Georgia Police-Fire Olympics.

Sergeant Jim Fulwood designs, develops, and starts operations at a new Weapons Training Facility on County Services Parkway. It is now considered by many to be one of the best in the country.

The precincts become partners in education with local schools. Precinct 1 with Awtrey Middle School, Precinct 2 with Lindley Middle School, Precinct 3 with Teasley Elementary, and Precinct 4 with Dickerson Middle School.

 

 

1995

A new Public Safety Training Center opens on County Services Parkway. It encompasses all police and fire training.

A new Superstation opens which houses Precinct One, Special Operations, Northside Detectives, and a fire station.

Officer Robert Quigley is appointed the first Public Information Officer. His job is to assist the department in responding to inquires by the media and public.

The Crimes Against Children Unit moves to a new location on Austell Road. They form a partnership with Open Gate (child shelter), Safe Path (children’s advocacy), and Department of Children and Family Services. All are housed under one roof.

Bomb Squad purchases its first robot.

 

 

1996

All motorcycle's are transferred from individual precincts to the Special Operations Unit. Their focus will be traffic enforcement.

The Olympics are held in Atlanta and officers are assigned to 12 hour shifts. No major incidents occur.

 

 

1997

Lee New becomes Chief of Police.

In August the department receives their state certification. The department is one of the first group of eight agencies to be certified through the State of Georgia Law Enforcement Certification Program.

Sergeant Jim Fulwood passes away from medical complications. On Monday, August 18, 1997, the Cobb County Police Department Weapons Training Facility was dedicated in his memory. The plaque inscription reads as follows:

Sergeant Jim Fulwood brought dedication, devotion and excellence in weapons training to every officer of the Cobb County Police Department for nineteen years. He was an instructor, a friend, an example.

 

 

1998

Mobile Data Terminals are added to all police units.

The department begins assisting with the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program held in the Cobb County Middle and High Schools.

Renovations begin on the Headquarters building and a new 911 Communications Center is put into operation. The building houses 911 Communications, Emergency Operations Command Center, Crimes Against Person's Unit, Cobb County Evidence Unit, and Cobb County Supply Unit.

 

 

1999

Director of Public Safety R.E. Hightower retires. J.D. Arrowood is appointed the new Director of Public Safety.

Cobb County Police celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

Cobb County Police Department’s Web site goes on line. Detective Gary Lowe is the first webmaster.

The Police Department has 490 sworn officers.

On July 23, 1999 Sergeant Steve Reeves and Officer Stephen Gilner are killed in the line of duty during a SWAT action. Sergeant Reeves and Officer Gilner were assigned to the SWAT entry team tasked to perform a hostage rescue. The suspect had already shot one police officer and would not negotiate with the Crisis Negotiation Team. Immediately upon entering the residence they came under heavy gunfire and Sergeant Reeves was fatally wounded. Officer Gilner realizing Sergeant Reeves was hit, pulled him from the doorway, and placed him outside the residence. Officer Gilner then re-entered the residence to assist his other team members who were pinned down, but was fatally wounded by the suspect. Sergeant Reeves and Officer Gilner were posthumously award the Cobb County Police Department Medal of Valor.

The High Tech Crime Squad (the first for a local jurisdiction in Georgia) is started. Sgt. Dan Casey, Det. Gary Lowe, and Det. Joel Horne are the first members. This unit is responsible for computer based crimes.

The Auto Theft Squad is started. Sgt. James Brown, Det. Mark Needham, Det. Joe Culver, and Det. R.C. Jones were the first members.

The new Cobb County Police Academy begins operations and graduates its first mandate class in December. Commander Ron Storey is named Director. The first officers to graduate were: M.A. Frazer, L.E. King, M.D. Hurst, R.B. Payne, L.R. Scherer, Y.A. Pounds, J.K. Stanley, E.J. Teegerstrom, J.W. Hopkins, R.G. Middendorf, F.G. Sebek, J.R. Barbeau, B.M. Bentley, Todd M. Desrosiers, M.M. Newson, and A.E. Lopez.