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Cobb Public Safety Members Honored During Appreciation Event

picture of cobb county police award winners
October 6, 2021

The Cobb Chamber honored Cobb County’s Public Safety heroes Monday, Oct. 4, during its annual Public Safety Appreciation Breakfast, presented by Cobb EMC and Wellstar, at the Coca-Cola Roxy. The event kicked off Public Safety Appreciation Week, a community-wide effort to say “thank you” to the men and women who work to keep Cobb County safe.

Awards included the Medal of Valor presented to Cobb County Police Officers David Cavender, John Pearson, and Bryan Moore for their actions during a firefight with an armed carjacker in June 2020. (Pictured above with event officials.) Cavender was wounded during the incident and the suspect was killed. 

The event also honored Cobb County E-911 Deputy Director Kevin Gardner (pictured at right) with the Outstanding Community Contribution award. He was recognized for leading improvements at the department, protecting employees from COVID, and using improved technology to ensure continued operations even if the system became overloaded.

Other awardees included the Public Safety Employee of the Year Kennesaw Police Det. Daniel Wood, who was selected for his actions during a February multiple vehicle chain-reaction collision on Interstate 75, as well as Award of Merit recipients Smyrna Police Department Officers Distin Trail and Tasia Sveda for talking down a suicidal teen in April.   

Nominations for the Public Safety Awards were solicited from public safety agencies throughout Cobb County, including police, fire, sheriff’s office, campus police, emergency communications, and EMS. For the latest information on Public Safety Appreciation Week, visit