Awards & Recognitions
2019 OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Sergeant Thomas Cooper
Sergeant Thomas Cooper is a U.S. Marine and Army Veteran, and has served the City of Cocoa Beach for more than 17 years in many capacities—Patrol Officer; Field Training Officer, CPR and First Aid Instructor, Driving Instructor, Traffic Homicide Investigator, Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and currently a Detective Sergeant. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Criminal Investigations Division, oversees all traffic homicide investigations, and assists with Career Development.
The following are a couple of Sergeant Cooper’s highlights from 2019: On November 12, 2019, Cocoa Beach Police responded to a local motel in reference to an individual who sustained a fatal gunshot wound while inside one of the rooms. Sergeant Cooper managed this investigation from the crime scene through case preparation, including coordination with other agencies, continual briefings with the State Attorneys Office, assigning investigative responsibilities to personnel in his charge, and ensuring the overall thoroughness of the case. The investigation is active and ongoing at the time of this write-up.
Just two weeks later, November 23, 2019, officers responded to a serious motor vehicle crash. Sergeant Cooper was notified by the on-duty shift supervisor that the crash involved a fatality. Due to a staffing shortage, Sergeant Cooper responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. Traffic Homicide Investigations are generally very complex. This crash involved two vehicles that were completely destroyed, no skid marks, no witnesses, and a large debris field. The following morning, the decedent’s passenger succumbed to her injuries. Sergeant Cooper managed this investigation, while still working the aforementioned shooting death, as well as running his division. He and his investigators worked diligently to gather the evidence needed to calculate the speed of the at-fault driver’s vehicle and develop probable cause to arrest and charge the driver with two counts of vehicular homicide.
Sergeant Cooper has proven himself to be a competent, reliable supervisor, investigator, and department instructor. He covers shift shortages, works special events and details, and will do anything asked of him, without complaint and with a positive attitude. For this and so much more, Sergeant Thomas Cooper is the Cocoa Beach Police Department’s 2019 Officer of the Year.
2019 TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Communications Shift Lead Steve Macko
Communications Shift Lead Steve Macko is a 4.5 year veteran of the Cocoa Beach Police Department. His dedication, strong work ethic, and willingness to always be a team player earned him the 2019 Telecommunications Officer of the Year.
Steve continually works on improving his skill set for the betterment of the department and safety of the officers and firefighters. He routinely takes on additional responsibilities without complaint, such as the following: training new telecommunications officers; serving as the Alternate Facility Agency Coordinator; verifying all entries into FCIC/NCIC for accuracy; assisting the Communications Manager with reviewing record files for monthly validations and making necessary modifications if needed; assisting with record audit checks for the required FDLE Records Audit; maintaining the police and fire radio inventory and assignments; and anything else asked of him.
It should also be noted that Steve only used one day of unscheduled personal time off since his date of hire. Steve even stepped up to handle some time-sensitive and critical responsibilities of the Communications Manager while she was out on unanticipated leave, to include pulling 911 audio recordings to comply with public records inquiries and overseeing the annual radio maintenance.
Toward the end of 2019, the department created Communications Shift Lead positions to implement succession planning and career development within the Communications Center, and to provide more opportunities for personnel. Steve applied for the position and was appointed to Communications Shift Lead, along with two others. He is also currently enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management with a focus in Public Safety.
For this and so much more, Communications Shift Lead Steve Macko is the Cocoa Beach Police Department’s 2019 Telecommunications Officer of the Year.