Cobb County 911 Emergency Communications underwent a department reorganization in 2016 to increase efficiency. An assistant director over support operations was also selected.
The salary of communications training officers was increased by five percent, to mirror salaries in the police department and sheriff’s office.
To decrease inefficiencies with ambulance dispatching, a CAD to CAD overlay was purchased.
The NICE system was upgraded to provide victim/complainant voice redaction on 911 tapes subject to open record requests.
To fully support Cobb’s E-911 fund, the Board of Commissioners approved a 25-cent increase to the E-911 surcharge. Cobb was the only law enforcement agency in the state charging $1.25 instead of the $1.50 allowed by the state.
Cobb County Animal Services staff promoted animal adoptions through many events and activities in 2016:
- Marietta Days Festival in the spring
- Furever Festival in May
- Arts, Barks, and Purrs Festival in June
- Public Safety Block Party in October
- Furever Festival in November
Animal Services staff also hosted a large animal handling/equine training course for the State of Georgia.
Cobb acquired two new Animal Services vehicles and a new adoption trailer, which is being used to conduct off-site adoptions.
Staff created several themed adoption specials throughout the year, helping to find forever homes for hundreds of animals.
Two of our Animal Services officers were nationally-certified and a detective was nationally-certified as a cruelty investigator.
New kennel cage doors were installed and open dividers were created in the cats room cages, allowing more space for the cats.
Installation of the new food housing unit secured animal food storage at the facility.
Emergency Management Agency
Cobb County operates and maintains 74 outdoor weather sirens to alert the public of severe weather. This year, one siren was entirely replaced, totaling $22,603. This project, all parts and complete installation, were paid from Emergency Management Performance Grant funds.
The central siren activation console in the Emergency Operations Center was in need of a hardware and software upgrade to ensure accurate and timely automated sounding of the sirens in the event of a severe weather event. An additional $13,550 from the county’s 380 Fund was utilized for this project, to include a new computer and the EMA WeatherWarn Siren computer software.
Since the program’s inception, Cobb EMA staff has trained more than 2,000 individuals in the Community Emergency Response Team curriculum. In 2016, 264 residents completed the training.
Expanding the CERT program, efforts in 2016 focused on reaching the deaf community by offering the first CERT class in the United States delivered entirely in American Sign Language. Cobb County has trained 35 deaf community members in the CERT curriculum and seven CERT instructors are ASL-capable.
In addition to reaching the deaf community, EMA staff engaged other community members with a total of 15 CERT course opportunities hosted by EMA, civic organizations, faith-based groups and our university partners. The City of Smyrna and the City of Kennesaw are also actively training residents.
EMA gained approval on its Hazard Mitigation Plan from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in spring 2016 and the Board of Commissioners approved the plan in November. The process involved substantial coordination and information gathering with all municipalities within Cobb County.
EMA is also partnering with the Information Services Department to implement a Business Continuity/Continuity of Operations Plan in 2017 that will allow the county to be better prepared to continue operations during emergency situations.
To accommodate this undertaking, EMA hosted state-endorsed COOP classes in 2016 for representatives from every department to prepare for their on-site assessments with the vendor.
EMA is a member of the county’s Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources team to conduct security assessments of critical infrastructure. Site visits are ongoing at key locations within the county. In 2016, site assessments included the new SunTrust Stadium and Six Flags Park, in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
EMA also partnered with Cobb and Douglas Public Health to hold senior living workshops with area nursing homes, hospices and other health facilities. The workshops helped provide guidance to these facilities so staff can improve their emergency management plans.