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The Stories Behind our Public Safety Heroes

October 10, 2014

As a tribute to our Public Safety Award winners, Chamber INK has featured the stories behind their nominations. Today, we’re sharing the acts of heroism that led Detective Tom Bastis and Officer Charles Vill to earn the Distinguished Achievement Award and the Medal of Valor.

Distinguished Achievement Award
Detective Tom Bastis, Cobb County Police Department
Nominated by SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc.

Detective Tom Bastis has worked for the Cobb County Police Department since 2003, serving over 5 ½ of those years within the Crimes Against Children Unit. As a Senior Detective, Tom Bastis is known for his professional demeanor, his warm smile and for the meticulous care he puts into each of his cases. Detective Bastis consistently presents himself at the utmost level of professionalism, and his sound judgment and objective approach has gained the trust and respect of his peers.
Detective Bastis persistently initiates activities to promote team building and encourage team morale. Also known as the “Grill Master”, Detective Bastis always has something cooking to positively build camaraderie, promote cooperation and collaboration among the team.
Every day Detective Bastis has the responsibility of making life-changing decisions to protect children in the community; often times putting his life in harm’s way for these young victims. This is a responsibility that Detective Bastis takes to heart and has made it his personal mission to go beyond the call of duty to ensure successful prosecution of those who commit the most serious and heinous crimes against children.
Detective Bastis has been praised by his peers for his conscientious efforts to consider the broader prospective of how each child victim is impacted, objectively viewing the facts and putting the needs of the child first above all else. When fellow detectives were asked to share their thoughts of Detective Bastis they say “Tom believes in getting it done… and done right…the first time.”


Medal of Valor
Officer Charles Vill
Nominated by Lt. Matthew D. Hurst

Since joining the police department, Officer Vill has been a leader among his peers in work ethic and drive. Despite his limited experience, he leads his shift in proactive, self-initiated criminal apprehension and enforcement activity. He is also a dependable and well liked team minded officer who supports his fellow officers and the mission of the shift and the department.
Prior to the winter holidays, Officer Vill annually speaks at Southern Polytechnic University for Greek Life. He speaks to the new students on the legal, educational and social consequences related to abuse of alcohol and drugs. Officer Vill volunteers to provide this service off duty, as a service to his community.

As a highly proactive officer, Officer Vill frequently parks his patrol car and walks high crime neighborhoods and business areas on foot. He makes contacts with multiple citizens and frequently thwarts criminal activity and apprehends felons. He interrupted a burglary in progress in June 2013.

On February 4th, 2014 Officer Vill was shot five times by the driver of a vehicle he pulled over. Despite being seriously wounded, he maintained his tactical awareness. He acted quickly, moving to cover out of the line of fire, maintained control and provided clear and accurate descriptions and directions over the radio that ultimately led to the capture of his assailant.
Since being shot in the line of duty, Officer Vill has endured a painful and physically and emotionally challenging recovery. He remains tenaciously committed and fiercely determined to return to his duties policing the streets of Cobb County despite the many challenges ahead of him.




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