Although the community won't know his face, the Rossville Exchange Club's Officer of the Year has made a lasting impact in North Georgia.
The Jimmy Sampley Officer of the Year award was recently given to Greg Cross, a member of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, for his continued efforts to get illegal drugs off the streets. Cross was credited with the seizure of over $1 million worth of illegal drugs in the past year, according to awards event organizer Don Martin.
Cross frequently goes undercover for his job, meaning photos of him can't be published online or in print, but even if he won't get any of the publicity, Cross said he is extremely grateful to have been chosen.
"I never would have expected to ever win something like that," Cross said. "I have to give a lot of credit to my fellow officers. I work with a lot of good people between my home agency and the drug task force."
Cross' home agency is the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department. He also works up to four or five cases at a time with the drug task force.
Officers are nominated for the award by co-workers or supervisors. Cross said he wasn't sure if there was a single event that led to his nomination, but thought it might have been a bust he spearheaded a few months ago that resulted in the seizure of 9 pounds of methamphetamine, 2 pounds of marijuana and over $113,000 in cash.
That case was one of the largest seizures he'd ever seen, he said, but Cross remained modest about it.
"I don't like to talk about myself that often," he said. "For me, it's a job. I do enjoy it, of course, but the awards aren't what I work for. I guess it just shows that I'm doing a decent job out here."
Exchange Club president Ken McCollum said he always looks forward to these awards.
"With all the negativity out there, I think it's key to talk about the good things that each of these individual agencies do for us in the area," McCollum said. "We need to promote the positivity that these officers are providing to us."