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West 'Bama Investigator Earns Top Honor

Posted by Steve Rogers | July 19, 2012 / 09:57am | Local News, Crime, Business, Faith & Family

The Alabama District Attorneys Association recently held its annual 2012 Summer Conference where it selected its "Investigator of the Year." The B.J. Gatlin Investigator of the Year Memorial Award is a prestigious honor of distinction in the field of investigation and is voted on by one's professional peers. This year's selection is Keith "Booty" Cox, Chief Investigator and head of the Criminal Investigations Division for the Twenty-Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office, comprised of Fayette, Lamar and Pickens Counties.

Cox has worked as chief investigator in the District Attorney's Office since 2002. He is characterized by those who know him as a man of conviction, a man of dedication, and a man of many good deeds. He is a member of Carrollton Baptist Church, President of the Pickens County Firefighters Association, and has been a law enforcement officer for 22 years. Mr. Cox holds a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama, as well as numerous degrees from countless trainings he has attended. He is a certified Evidence Technician.

The Investigator of the Year Award was established in 1986 in memory of B.J. Gatlin, who was an investigator for Barbour and Bullock counties and was a founding member of the Alabama District Attorney's Investigator's Association.

According to Chris McCool, District Attorney for the Twenty-Fourth Judicial Circuit, it is not Cox's education or degrees that qualify him for this award. "In my opinion, Booty is one of the premier investigators in the state. Before coming to work for me in 2002, he worked for many years as the investigator for the City of Aliceville, and as an agent with the Drug/Violent Crime Task Force. I have watched Booty and his team of evidence techs work the scene of many, many murders and other violent crimes, in conditions that would cause others to 'cut corners' and neglect details, but he never does that." According to McCool, most of Cox's cases are ultimately tested in courtrooms, and, McCool stated, "I have yet to be embarrassed by a case that Booty has worked."

Steve McBride, now a retired law enforcement officer who served as Chief of Police for the City of Aliceville for many years, stated that Cox's selection is "well deserved." Calling Cox a "true public servant and a good friend," McBride stated as follows: "While I was serving as Chief of Police for the City of Aliceville, Booty expressed an interest in becoming a police officer after he received his Criminal Justice degree. Having known Booty since his childhood, I felt he would be a great law enforcement officer and recommended he be hired. After being hired and sworn in, Booty made an immediate impact as an Aliceville Police Officer. After the required probationary period, Booty was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and placed in charge of investigations. Investigator Cox was and still is a dedicated, tenacious investigator who takes his duties and responsibilities seriously. He has chosen to continually educate himself and receives extensive training to remain on the "cutting edge" of technological advances in law enforcement."

Upon receiving this award, Cox issued the following statement: "I am very humbled to receive this award. I appreciate the confidence that Chris McCool has in me and I am thankful for the opportunity to work in his office. I am also very appreciative for Steve McBride hiring me several years ago in Aliceville. The majority of what I have learned about law enforcement I learned from him. I am grateful for his wisdom and teachings. I am also thankful to the good Lord who has given me the ability to work in this profession."
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