Warren, who has served as the county’s elected sheriff for a decade, said he was “thankful” for the award.
“When I look at the 158 other counties and sheriffs and I know I was selected by them, I’m real humbled,” Warren said.
The Georgia Sheriff’s Association comprises the elected sheriffs of every county in the state as well as 45,000 “honorary members,” according to Nancy Bodiford, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Terry Norris, executive director of the association, said Warren was selected for his “character, professionalism and commitment to duty.”
“His dedication to the safety of the citizens of Cobb County is illustrated every day through the manner in which the deputies and other staff of the sheriff’s office perform their duties. Sheriff Warren is a fine public servant and we appreciate his leadership,” Norris said.
Warren is midway through his third term as Cobb’s sheriff. He has served in the sheriff’s office since 1977, where he began as a deputy to then-Sheriff Bill Hutson.
He became the chief deputy sheriff in 1994 and remained in that post until he took the office’s top spot.
“(Hutson) was real active in the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, which deals with a lot of laws and legislation that impacts not only Cobb County, but state and law enforcement,” Warren said of his predecessor.
Hutson had only kind words for his former chief deputy.
“He’s been a close friend, a good law enforcement officer,” Hutson said. “I’m proud for him that his peers have honored him.”
Warren said he loves his position because it allows him to be involved in the community.
“It’s the only office in law enforcement where you get to work directly with the people, with the citizens in our county and throughout Georgia,” he said. “We’re committed to our citizens, not only for protecting and enforcing the law, but also for being good stewards and citizens.”
Warren highlighted the fact the sheriff doesn’t have to answer to a political body the way a chief of police does.
“I answer to the people,” he said. “I know I can do what is right without being put in any type of political pressure from any other elected official.”
Hutson, who turned the sheriff’s office over to Warren when he retired during his seventh term, said Cobb citizens should take pride in Warren’s award.
“I think everyone in Cobb County should be proud of Sheriff Warren, not only for the job he does, but that’s a real honor that 158 other sheriffs chose him,” Hutson said.