Gossett, a trainer for active shooter drills, received the award Monday morning during the Chamber’s annual Public Safety Appreciation Breakfast at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, kicking off the 13th annual Public Safety Appreciation Week.
“Officer Gossett … has made cases and performed deeds in his short career that many long-time veterans have not,” wrote Sgt. J.P. Perry, who nominated him for the award. “He is an exemplary model of the young law-enforcement professional who has already ‘been there and done that,’ working every day to make the community a better place to live.”
Perry cited incidents in which Gossett saved a choking infant, helped uncover a marijuana-manufacturing operation with plants worth $2.5 million and shot a knife-wielding attacker during a domestic-violence call.
- The Cobb County Fire & Emergency Medical Operations Team received an Award of Merit, nominated by Fire Chief Sam Heaton. The 6-year-old team consists of nine paramedics and three emergency medical technicians who provide medical support for special operations such as SWAT situations and high-risk federal warrants. Heaton wrote that the team’s performance as triage and treatment providers to Hurricane Katrina evacuees at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in 2005 “stands out as the true test of the team capabilities and commitment.”
- The Crimes Against Children Unit of the Cobb police Crimes Against Persons Unit won an Award of Merit, nominated by Jinger Robins of the SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center. The unit investigates and manages child abuse cases, including child pornography. “On a daily basis,” Robins wrote, “Crimes Against Children is challenged with making life-changing decisions to protect the children in our community, often putting their lives in harm’s way for these young victims.”
- Marietta police Maj. Clifford Kelker received a Distinguished Achievement Award, nominated by Chief Dan Flynn. A Persian Gulf War veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, Kelker has served with the Marietta Police Department since October 1991. He was a founding member of the Crime Interdiction Unit in 1993, coordinated the first Senior Citizens Police Academy in 1999, commanded the department honor guard and organized the emergency response to the fire at Six Flags White Water in July 2010.
- Cobb Officer Nicholas Leone was given a Distinguished Achievement Award, nominated by Lt. D.A. Hite. Leone holds the Cobb police record for most stolen automobiles recovered in one year, and he is a founding member of the Violent Incident Prevention and Early Response (VIPER) Unit. In the past year, he seized 14 illegal guns, recovered four stolen vehicles, found a mobile meth lab, caught three carjackers, and led investigations that seized large amounts of drugs and cash.
- Patrol Lt. Clifton Yeager of the Southern Polytechnic State University police force received the Medal of Valor, nominated by Chief John Bauer. In addition to helping reduce underage drinking and illegal drug use on campus, Yeager responded to a report of a possible child drowning at the university’s Wellness Center in June 2010 and kept the child breathing until paramedics arrived, and in May this year he rescued a panicked toddler from a smoke-filled kitchen after hearing a faint sound from inside the apartment during a fire alarm.