By John Schaffner

The Buckhead Business Association (BBA) presented its first two 2009 Public Safety Officer of the Quarter awards at its luncheon meeting April 22, at which the featured speaker was WSB-TV anchor Monica Kaufman Peterson, who just happens to be married to a law enforcement officer.

Atlanta Zone 2 police Officer Ramarin Ervin received one of the two awards at the meeting, attended by about 100 people at 103 West, for his attention to detail and keen sense of observation, which paid off in identifying a suspect in the burglary of a Buckhead Rite Aid store.

The Fire Safety Officer Award was presented to Capt. Joel Lane of Station 29 on Monroe Drive, which services the southeast end of Buckhead. He got the award for overseeing the equipping and training of many firefighters who serve the Buckhead area.

The awards were presented by BBA Public Safety Committee Chairman Charles Qualls, Laurice Tatum, president of Brookhaven Bank and Cannon Reynolds of Niles Bolton Associates. The latter two were luncheon sponsors.

In presenting the police award, Tatum said Ervin responded to an alarm at Rite Aid in the Peachtree Battle shopping center, 2345 Peachtree Road, on March 11 and noticed a glass window had been shattered. He found further damage and blood on the window area, which the Crime Scene Unit processed.

Ervin reviewed the store’s security video, obtained a description of the suspect and broadcast a BOLO (be on lookout), which proved effective.

The next day he recognized the suspect from the video footage walking on the street, dressed in the same clothing he wore during the burglary. Ervin stopped and searched the suspect and found items taken from the store. He then arrested the suspect.

Ervin was commended by Maj. Robert Browning, the new Zone 2 commander. In the audience at the luncheon to add his congratulations was Browning’s recently retired predecessor, Maj. James Sellers.

In describing why the Fire Rescue Officer Award went to Lane, Reynolds said: “He has displayed outstanding leadership skills and qualities as a member of the department. As the lead battalion instructor, he has initiated and coordinated many training exercises for the 6th Battalion (Buckhead) members.”

Lane has been with the department since 1988.

His function is to see that personnel are up to speed on the latest innovations, Bolton said. “His dedication to community has also proven instrumental in the development of a fire station makeover for Station 29 on Monroe Drive. He did this by forging relationships with several neighborhood entities, civic, construction and architectural organizations.”

Battalion Chief Bernard Coxton, who attended the luncheon, said, “Capt. Lane is motivated and committed to the mission and values of the department, and I am proud to nominate him for this award.”