The son of a career Army man, Mark Cotton lived in many places of the world before his family settled in their native Alabama. Raised to be athletic, well-read and to always do the right thing, a career in law enforcement was a calling for him. He worked his way through junior college and then Auburn University, majoring in Criminal Justice. He applied to, and was hired by, the Macon Police Department upon graduation. He finished first in academics in his recruit class and took naturally to the life of a patrol officer.
Lt. Cotton served the department for almost 28 years in a variety of capacities – on patrol, as an investigator with the drug and narcotics unit, as a member of the old Crime Suppression Unit, as a bike patrol officer downtown, as a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Agency and, most recently, as the director of police training. His true passion, though, was serving with the SWAT team.