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Our Department


The mission of the Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications is to provide excellent and professional service to the citizens, visitors, and public safety responders of Cobb County. We fully understand the foundation of our profession is service, and we strive to provide this to our citizens at the most superior level possible. We will provide this service in a prompt, courteous, and professional manner, striving for efficiency. We recognize that our ultimate success in this mission is tied directly to the spirit of cooperation and teamwork between the public safety agencies, the Emergency Communications Center staff, and the residents and visitors of Cobb County.


  • Integrity
  • Service
  • Pride
  • Teamwork
  • Open Communication
  • Innovation
  • Diversity
  • Positive Work Environment

Director's Office

Director Melissa Alterio

Director Melissa Alterio

Melissa currently serves as Executive Director for Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications (E911) which is the 3rd largest Center in Georgia. She has a BS in Psychology & and MS in Criminal Justice/Public Safety Leadership & over 33 years of experience in the 911 community. She is an Adjunct Instructor with APCO International, Vice President of the GA 911 Director’s Association, Board Member for Georgia APCO & has achieved the Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL) and Certified Public Safety Executive (CPE) designations. Melissa is a recognized 911 subject matter expert who has presented at various national dispatch conferences around the Country, speaking on a variety of leadership principles. Her passions are to be a mentor, coach, leader and positive role model to members of the 911 community: encouraging and training the next generation of 911 leaders. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys family gatherings, volunteer work and quality time with her dog.

Deputy Directors

  • Deputy Director Kevin Gardner

    Kevin Gardner joined the Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications in 2016. Before joining 911, he spent over a decade in law enforcement working in multiple positions. Kevin recently obtained a Master’s in Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University and a Certificate of Local Government Management from The University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government. As Deputy Director of Technical Services, Kevin has led multiple projects vital to the department.

  • Deputy Director Robbie McCormick

    Deputy Directory McCormick

    Robbie is from New Mexico & came to Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications (E911) via Fort Worth, Texas where she served a district of 33 ECCs. She has served from front line 9-1-1 First Responder to regional communications center Director from 2009 to 2022. She now serves as Deputy Director over the Administration & Education Division which encompasses community outreach, professional development & compliance, training, quality assurance and employee relations.

  • Deputy Director Tonya Poole

    Deputy Director Tonya Poole

    Tonya Poole has over 30 years’ experience in the public safety community. She began her career in Paulding County GA & joined Cobb County’s Department of Emergency Communications (E911) in 2001. Tonya is currently the Deputy Director of the Operations Division that is responsible for dispatching calls to Cobb’s Police, Fire, Sheriff & Animal Services departments along with Marietta City Police & Fire departments & the Powder Springs Police Department. She attends Columbus State University and enjoys spending time with her husband, Jason, who proudly serves as a Sergeant for Cobb County’s Police Department, their six children and thirteen grandchildren.

Special Units

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee aims to recognize outstanding performance by Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications employees. Meeting bi-monthly, this committee reviews the award nominations made by fellow employees by reviewing calls and radio traffic.

Community Relations Unit

The Community Relations Unit was developed to support the Department of Emergency Communications staff by bringing emergency communications to the community. This is done through community outreach, innovative recruitment, and our public education program. This unit was created in June of 2022, and its primary function is to focus on recruitment and serve as coordinator for the Community, Outreach, Recruitment, and Education (CORE Team).

CORE Team members participate in middle and elementary school career day events. Team members give presentations at the Cobb County Safety Village for Camp Puzzle and Family Fun Safety Days. CORE Team members participate in community events such as the NAACP Juneteenth event, Taste of Mableton, and many others geared toward outreach, recruitment, and education.

Employment Relations Unit

The Employment Relations Unit is responsible for the processing of new applications, conducting interviews and background checks. Under this new unit, Cobb County DEC has seen an increase in applications and new employees.


The GROW (Growth, Restoration, Oneness, & Wellness) Committee was formed in August 2021 to renovate the abandoned police memorial garden into a relaxing sensory garden for Cobb County DEC employees. In April 2022, during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, the grand opening of the GROW Garden revealed this sanctuary to employees, donors, contributors, and the public. This space serves as a retreat from the high-stress conditions of the communications center and is used by employees throughout the day and night. This committee involves garden updates and improvements, continuing garden maintenance with scheduled workdays, and educational workshops with topics chosen by our team members.

Health and Wellness Committee

This committee encourages healthy eating, mental health, and physical fitness. They initiate workout challenges and submit healthy recipes and exercises for the monthly E-911 newsletter.

With the assistance of and partnership with the Cobb County Public Safety Foundation, the Health and Wellness Committee was able to renovate and rejuvenate the former police gym into a beautiful, clean DEC gym. The gym floors were thoroughly cleaned, the walls were painted, and new equipment was delivered, including the new Mirror exercise platform.

Morale Committee

The Morale Committee is a select group of 911 professionals whose mission is to spread positivity, improve workplace culture, and boost morale in the Cobb County 911 Center. This is accomplished by doing small, thoughtful projects throughout the center, hosting events for employees, decorating during holidays and events, and having a positive attitude in the workplace.

Peer Support

The Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications Peer Support Team is led by Training/Quality Assurance Manager Todd Borowski. It consists of ten members who have volunteered their time to provide emotional and physical support to their peers.

Policy Review Committee

The Policy Review Committee was formed in the summer of 2021. This committee frequently meets to review all Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications policies and suggest changes.

Social Media Team

The social media Team, led by Director Alterio, exists to capitalize on our value of open communication and elevate and demonstrate our values of integrity, service, pride, teamwork, innovation, diversity, and a positive work environment. We demonstrate how the agency, and our 911 professionals live our mission. Utilizing all aspects of social and visual media, we share and celebrate our department’s accomplishments and events.

Tactical Dispatch Team

The Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications (DEC) Tactical Dispatch Team comprises a Team Commander, Deputy Team Commander, three Team Leaders, and twenty-nine Tactical Dispatchers.

The Tactical Dispatch Team is always ready at a moment’s notice to respond to a SWAT Callout to maintain communications between Incident Command and the specialty teams on the scene. These highly trained dispatchers and supervisors are necessary to support Incident Command with accurate and timely documentation during high-risk operations. Having Tactical Dispatchers respond to the scene allows the 911 Center to resume normal operations.

The Tactical Dispatch Team routinely trains with police during SWAT and active shooter training. Additionally, each team member must attend at least ten hours of additional tactical dispatch training per year on top of the twenty-four hours required of all DEC employees.


The Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) is a nationwide mutual aid initiative for communication centers.

In partnership with APCO & NENA, the Georgia chapter of TERT is represented by a board consisting of a State Coordinator, a Deputy State Coordinator, and a Logistics Coordinator. Specially trained teams of Emergency Telecommunicators from various agencies nationwide are ready to deploy anytime. They will respond to assist any public safety answering point (PSAP) or dispatch center in the state in crisis.

Training Division

The Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications (DEC) Training Unit consists of a Training/Quality Assurance Manager, two Training/Quality Assurance Coordinators, and two Training Technicians. This unit is responsible for training new recruits and overseeing current employees’ annual training and quality assurance. Additionally, the DEC training unit encompasses our Department of Emergency Communications Training Operations Program (DECTOP) Committee.