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October 4, 2010

   The Cobb Chamber of Commerce honored Cobb County’s finest today during the Chamber’s annual Public Safety Appreciation breakfast at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The sold out event kicked off a weeklong community effort to celebrate Public Safety Appreciation Week.

   Several awards, including the Public Safety Employee of the Year, were presented. Forty-six nominations were submitted, the largest amount ever received. 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 Stewart Biggers of the Marietta Police Department was named the 2010 Public Safety Employee of the Year.

   Officer Biggers has served 22 years in public safety with the Marietta Police Department. Officer Biggers is widely recognized throughout Cobb County as an extraordinarily talented, extremely dedicated and high caliber police officer. Time and again he has proven himself to be of the highest integrity; a cooperative officer with whom to work; and an excellent role model for other officers to follow.

   In addition to his frequent major arrests, Officer Biggers is continually praised by his superiors and members of the community for voluntarily taking on projects and details designed to improve quality of life and make our community safe. He often initiates personal contact with residents and business owners to learn of their public safety concerns and address any problems they may have. Meanwhile, he carefully documents all of his contacts and follow-up activities so other officers can benefit from what he has learned in his face-to-face conversations with citizens.

   Officer Biggers’ steadfast enthusiasm to excel in any challenge he faces serves as a constant inspiration to all his colleagues and co-workers.

The Medal of Valor
   The Medal of Valor recognizes a person for an act of bravery that has clearly placed the individual in a life-threatening situation that is above and beyond the call of duty. Two teams combining multiple public safety officials were awarded Medals of Valor.

   Firefighter Anthony Helms and Engineer Jeremy DeJames of Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services were honored for their heroic rescue of a victim who was trapped in a tree during the 2009 flood. After going through rising and gushing waters of at least 200 yards wide, having their Rapid Deployment Craft overturned and being pinned on a barbwire fence, the officers were able to reach the victim and get to a slower current.

   The second group of Medals of Valor went to Officer Elizabeth Bedore, Officer Andrew Colquitt, Officer William Garnigan, Sergeant Timothy Lemming and Officer Brian Vaughan of the Marietta Police Department.

   These officers were commended for their selfless actions in responding and reacting to a group of passengers and a dog who were trapped inside a vehicle engulfed in flames. Not only did they control the environment around them, but the officers went into the vehicle twice to bring all of the passengers to safety.

Award of Merit
   The Award of Merit recognizes an individual for an act of courage, demonstrating genuine care and concern for the citizens of the community and going above and beyond the call of duty, often resulting in a life being saved. There were eleven deserving recipients this year. Congratulations to the following:

Detective Shannon Arrowood
Marietta Police Department
Sergeant Brian Kitchens
Cobb County Police Department
Captain Kimberlee Brophy
Kennesaw Police Department
Officer Walker MacGregor
Kennesaw Police Department
Cobb County Sheriff’s Office
Reserve Deputies Unit
Sergeant Christopher Michael
Cobb County Police Department
Officer Brian Collins
Acworth Police Department
Jail Officer Tim Sharp
Kennesaw Police Department
Captain William Flowers
Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services
Officer Ron Thomas
Kennesaw Police Department
Sergeant George Grumbien, Jr.
Kennesaw Police Department

Distinguished Achievement
   Officer James Calhoun of the Cobb County School District Department of Public Safety was presented with a Distinguished Achievement award. The Distinguished Achievement Award honors someone whose outstanding service and performance often goes unnoticed, yet exceeds the realm of their job.

   The breakfast was sponsored by Cobb EMC and Wells Fargo.

   A committee of community, business and public safety leaders planned the breakfast and appreciation week. Chief Michael Wilkie of the Acworth Police Department was the chairman of the Cobb Chamber’s Public Safety Committee.

   For more information on Public Safety Appreciation Week visit

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