I was born in Akron, Ohio; but I was raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. During my last years of high school (1988) my mother relocated to DeKalb County Georgia. I graduated from Redan High School in Stone Mountain Georgia and then attended DeKalb Technical Institute for Commercial Art. After graduating, I began working for the City Of Decatur with Sanitation and the Public Works department in (1993). I moved from riding on the back of the truck to being an equipment operator for Decatur’s rear yard service. I enjoyed my job there but I always dreamt of being a firefighter. After a few years of working at Public Works, I heard of an opening with the fire department and applied. I had no firefighting experience, but I got the job. In the years following, several others from Public Works applied to the fire department.
I love learning and training. I attended every training opportunity I could from 1993-2008. I applied for, and successfully passed every promotional opportunity that was offered in the department. I have held every rank at Decatur Fire and Rescue, including Firefighter, Codes Enforcement Officer, Codes Enforcement Supervisor, Fire Apparatus Operator, Lieutenant and Captain / Shift Captain. My beautiful wife, Melissa Walker, and my 3 children (Cortez, Brandon and Chamari Walker) have always supported and encouraged me in my accomplishments.
I have truly seen the change of the fire service in my career. The focus has shifted from fire extinguishment to incorporating public safety and awareness. It is rewarding to work in a diverse community where our services are appreciated. Our department has made major changes in recent years. This is allowing the City of Decatur to become a pioneer fire department in many aspects. Our progressive fire organization is a benefit to residents, but it also gives firefighters the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. We are working hard to have the fire department mirror the city itself. We want to be a trailblazing department for others to emulate.
My strongest trait as an officer is the desire to give excellent customer service. I want to serve the citizens, the different city departments, and my firefighters. I want this department to be associated with honesty, integrity, teamwork and respect for all people. It is not just a job but a profession and it is important to me that people receive our profession in a positive way. I am honored to have served this city.