After over 30 years of executive leadership at both the municipal and state levels, Dr. Cooper retired in 2012 from the Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal after two years as the Interim State Fire Marshal, and from 2007 to 2012, serving as Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal. From 2012 to 2014, he served as the Executive Director of Medical Education and Research with Akron General Health Systems, and has served as the Executive Director of the Event Safety Alliance (ESA), as a labor-management consultant with National Rescue Consultants, and as the Chair of the City of Cuyahoga Falls Health Care Committee. Dr. Cooper graduated from Tallmadge High School, attended the University of Akron and Kent State University, earned an MBA and PhD in Business Administration from California Coast University, and in 2014 completed a postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Medicine Research at Northeast Ohio Medical University. He also serves as a volunteer at Faithful Servants Care Center in Tallmadge.
In 2002, Dr. Cooper was awarded the National Association for Search and Rescue’s (NASAR) most prestigious recognition—the Hal Foss Award—for both national and international contributions to the field of search and rescue; and, in 2012, he was awarded Ohio’s highest fire service honor—the Ohio Fire Service Distinguished Service Award—for contributions to and leadership of the U.S. fire service including significant contributions on a regional, statewide and national basis.
The Director of Public Safety is appointed by the Mayor and is responsible for overseeing all matters relating to public safety, including oversight of city departments that provide police, fire, and emergency medical services, as well as other related duties as assigned by the Mayor. The primary goal of public safety in general is to prevent danger, preserve the peace, and to protect the wellbeing of the city's residents, businesses, visitors, and property.
The Director of Public Safety is charged with developing public safety policy and practices across the City that (a) prevent harm to people, property, and the environment and (b) safeguard people from crimes, disaster, and other potential dangers and threats.