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Macon Police Training Director Found Dead | Crime

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Macon Police Training Director Found Dead

The director of the Macon Police Training Academy, Lt. Mark Cotton, was found dead at the Academy late Sunday afternoon, police said.

Police did not say how Cotton died. Bibb County coroner Leon Jones confirmed the identification of the body but declined to comment on the cause of death pending an autopsy on Monday.

Cotton was also the Macon Police SWAT Commander. He was 49 years old.

A brief police news release said in part: "This case is under investigation," and an autopsy would be performed on Monday to determine the cause of death.

"No further information is available at this time. We appreciate your understanding and respect."

The academy is located near downtown Macon at 1166 Jackson St., between Hazel and Oglethorpe Streets.

Two mobile crime-lab vans were at the scene. Investigators wearing rubber gloves worked behind an area police blocked off with an orange sheet to block the view of onlookers.

Police Chief Mike Burns and Sheriff David Davis were at the scene.

The coroner appeared to be fighting back tears as he told reporters that a body had been found at the building. He walked away briefly and spoke with a minister before returning to continue speaking. 

Cotton was on the board of the Georgia Tactical Officers Association, according to its website. 

We interviewed Cotton in July 2012 after the theater shootings in Aurora, Colo. We asked him how police are trained to handle a situation with an "active shooter."

He said: "You cannot wait for large groups of backup to go stop the threat. It is your job and your partner's job to go stop the threat as quickly as possible."


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