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Braxton Cotton to speak during ceremony to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The 136th Corps of Cadets at Georgia Military College will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a ceremony at 2:30 p.m., Friday, January 16, 2015, in the Goldstein Center for the Performing Arts.  Junior college and high school cadets will gather to pay tribute to the life and teachings of the civil rights leader and his great accomplishments of promoting equality and justice for all.  The guest speaker for the ceremony will be Mr. Braxton Cotton, GMC alumnus (2002) and current Member of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.  He was honored as GMC’s Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2012 and was named one of Atlanta’s Men of Influence for 2014.

Braxton Cotton
Braxton Cotton began a career in law enforcement as a police officer with the Milledgeville Police Department. He later joined the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, serving as a detective, SWAT team member, crime suppression unit member, and firearms instructor and he was named 2004 Officer of the Year. Mr. Cotton joined the Georgia Department of Public Safety, and was the class president for the 84th Trooper School for the Georgia State Patrol. While serving as a Trooper, Mr. Cotton was assigned to the Executive Protection Unit, serving Governor Sonny Purdue and Governor Nathan Deal.

In June 2012, Governor Deal appointed Mr. Cotton to serve as Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC). At the age of 30, Mr. Cotton became the youngest African American agency head in Georgia history. At the CJCC, he oversaw tens of millions of dollars in state and federal grant funds and served as an advisor to the Governor on issues directly impacting the Georgia criminal justice system. Mr. Cotton was key in the implementation of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Reform phases 1 and 2.

In June 2013, Governor Deal appointed Mr. Cotton as Executive Director of the newly created Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry. Mr. Cotton established this agency with the primary mission to coordinate all state resources that affected prisoner reentry within the state of Georgia.

Mr. Cotton has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and he is currently completing his capstone project for a Master of Administration focusing on public administration, from Central Michigan State University. He is also enrolled in the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College at Columbus State University, pursuing a second Master’s Degree in Public Safety Administration.

After graduating from Georgia Military College, Mr. Cotton commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves in the Infantry.

Mr. Cotton is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives, American Correctional Association, Parole Association of Georgia, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated.

Mr. Cotton volunteers annually with local non-profits to include Helping Hands, Hosea Feed the Hungry, and Habitat for Humanity.

Mr. Cotton resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles consists of five full-time members who make parole decisions. During FY 2013, the Board made more than 88,000 clemency decisions regarding parole cases.