Melissa Alterio named Director of the Year at Georgia Emergency Communications Conference

Melissa Alterio in front of the Cobb County BOCMelissa Alterio in front of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners during the approval of her appointment (screenshot from BOC meeting)

Melissa A. Alterio, the director of the Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications, was named Director of the Year at this year’s Georgia Emergency Communications Conference, presented by the Georgia chapters of APCO and NENA.

This award is presented to “…the individual that performs the duties of the Director in recognition of their accomplishments in encouraging, motivating and supporting their employees”

Alterio was hired as director of Cobb’s 911 system in May of 2021 and replaced Destiny Davidson, who retired as the Cobb County 911 Emergency Communications director at the end of 2020.

She has a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Public Safety Leadership from Mercer University.

According to her LinkedIn page, she’s the board treasurer of the Georgia Association of Women in Public Safety, a board member of Georgia APCO, and is Vice President of the Georgia 911 Director’s Association.

The county posted the following on its website about the ceremony, and about the Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications:

Cobb County Department of Public Safety’s Director, Randy Crider was present at the ceremony, held in Athens, as well as a host of the command staff and floor personnel from Cobb County 911. The department celebrates Director Alterio’s accomplishment; she has brought people-driven leadership to the agency and has set an example not just for local 911 agencies, but transforming the staff into leaders in the industry. Her heart and vision are at the forefront of all she does, and we join our colleagues around the country as we celebrate her.

Cobb County Department of Emergency Communications is a primary Public Safety Answering Point for Cobb County, accepting 911 calls for police, fire, and emergency medical services in unincorporated Cobb County, as well as the cities of Marietta and Powder Springs. It processes 911 calls for fire & emergency medical services for the cities of Kennesaw and Acworth. The department also provides dispatch and radio operations for Cobb County Police, Cobb County Fire, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Cobb County Animal Services, City of Marietta Police, City of Powder Springs Police, Cobb County Fire, and City of Marietta Fire. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, processing close to 900,000 calls for service each year.

About APCO and NENA

APCO has the following description of the organization on its website:

Founded in 1935, APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals.

APCO’s 35,000+ membership includes those who manage, operate, build and support public safety communications systems for law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and other public safety agencies. The association supports its members – and the general public – by providing industry expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy and outreach.

NENA describes itself as follows:

The 9-1-1 Association serves the public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. With more than 15,000 members in 48 chapters across North America and around the globe, NENA promotes the implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 and international three-digit emergency communications systems.