We’ve all heard the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and the same sentiment is true for serving the community. One of our department’s primary missions is to provide comprehensive community policing services. To do this, our officers and staff participate in numerous outreach activities, many times on weekends and off days. As a result, many of our family members — our village — routinely join us and assist with events. They are the unsung heroes of our department, and while they rarely are recognized publicly for their hard work, we know we could not do our jobs without their support.
This month, we’d like to highlight Cpl. Eric Mistretta’s amazing wife, Emily, a dispatcher for the Cobb County Department of Public Safety who has worked behind the scenes supporting our police cadets program the past few years. The cadets meet every Tuesday evening and participate in competitions during the year, and Emily is a constant fixture. To support the cadets’ mission to set records with their fundraising for the Special Olympics of Georgia, Emily plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Acworth in February for the Polar Plunge event. The success of our program is due, in large part, to the contributions of Emily Mistretta. This year alone, she has logged nearly 100 volunteer hours with our department.
In addition to her volunteer work with the Acworth Police Department, she also is an award-winning dispatcher. Last month, she was recognized by the Cobb County Fire Department and Cobb County 911 for helping to save the life of a 13-year-old boy who needed CPR. The child had a seizure and was unconscious and not breathing. Emily talked the caller through the process of administering life-saving care and, as a result, the boy was able to make a full recovery.
Like many members of our families, Emily Mistretta works behind the scenes to support our efforts in the community. We are blessed to be surrounded by family members who are patient, understanding and willing to help out and know the hours we spend on weekends, off days and holidays are dedicated to making this community better. It takes a village, and we are grateful we’re all in this together.
If you are looking for ways to get involved, we have some great options. One of the best ways to get acquainted with our department is to participate in our annual Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA) classes. The academy is a 12-week program designed to give the public a working knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the Acworth Police Department. It enables participants to gain a better understanding of procedures, guidelines, responsibilities, demands, equipment, policies and laws that guide the police department’s decision-making process. CPA alumni become ambassadors to our department and often volunteer to help with our outreach activities.
Besides the CPA, we also have the Acworth Police Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides support to the community as well as to those within our law enforcement community who need assistance.
For information, visit acworthpolicecommunityfoundation.org.
– Wayne Dennard has served as chief since 2012 and has lived in this community for more than 40 years.