911 Hero changing lives on-and-off duty around the world


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Police Detective Steve Cobb solves crimes in his community while helping other first responders affected by natural disasters around the world.  His dedication and humble service makes him more than worthy to be a Galls 911 Hero.

Detective Cobb is an imposing figure, just like he was during his playing days as a 6’2″, 325-pound offensive lineman and Captain of the Centre College football team.  The sport taught him a lot about life that he carries with him to this day.

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“Regardless of where you are out there, you’re not the most important person, it’s the rest of the team.  Nobody scores by themselves.  It’s the work that’s done in the off-season that counts and all those lessons I’ve used in my life, especially in my police career, which is another team organization.  It’s about putting others first and ultimately everybody winning in the end.  I learned so much from that game,” said Cobb.

Steve Cobb has a servant’s heart and he comes by it honestly.  His father was a military police officer in the U.S. Army.  His brother is a police officer.  His mother a school superintendent and his sister is a teacher.  Wanting to serve and help others is all he’s ever known.

“I want to chase the bad guys and I’m passionate about it,” Cobb said.

And, he’s good at it.  So good, he was named Lexington Police Officer of the Year in 2017.

“It means a lot when you get on the street that often times I was in neighborhoods that I’m racially different.  I don’t live there but yet, I want to give the people who live in that community the best service possible.  And, that doesn’t always mean shooting basketball or eating ice cream with the kids.  It also means arresting drug dealers on the corner and doing the best I can to find the person who robbed someone.  That is my style of policing.  I want to do everything I can to bring justice for what’s going on out there,” Cobb said.

It’s ironic that someone who is so giving, works to find people who are taking the most precious thing, a life.

“Some of these young men who are dying out here, I have nothing in common with, but I am a dad and that’s somebody’s kid, that’s somebody’s grandson, somebody’s friend or father, and it means something to me to try to bring somebody to justice for these young men and women who are dying on the street,” said Cobb.

He doesn’t try to shield his emotions in a highly emotional area of police work.  Cobb thinks a lack of emotion makes you less human and less compassionate.  His deep Christian faith is his foundation.  It is the compass for his work and his life.

Steve Cobb has done life changing work off-duty, helping other first responders all over the world.

“We set up the Kentucky First Responders Group.  It was set up as a missional community for people from all different churches in the area with a heart for serving first responders affected by natural disasters,” explained Cobb.

That mission has taken Cobb and his group across Kentucky, the nation and the world, helping those who help others in times of need.

“This isn’t about me, it’s what Jesus has done through me to allow me to do this stuff.  I take it very seriously that there’s some people out there, whether it’s here where I’m doing stuff in the United States, whether I’m on patrol in Lexington, whether I’m traveling internationally doing missions, I may be the only representative for Jesus some of these people ever see,” Cobb said.

Calamity never knocks before it enters, like in 2016 when a raging inferno swept through the Smokey Mountains and into Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  When it was over, 14 people had been killed, hundreds injured and an estimated 2,500 homes and businesses destroyed.

As soon as the wildfires hit, Steve Cobb and his group were there, bringing help and hope among the ruins.  He remembers sifting through the rubble of a Gatlinburg firefighter’s house, who thought he had lost everything.

“We sifted through the entire house and actually found all kinds of momentos that, to that firefighter and his family and her family, it meant a lot to get those badges, wedding rings and other items back, that yes, were damaged by fire, but we went back and found them,” said Cobb.

The current Kentucky First Responders project is its annual warm clothing drive.  People can donate new or gently used coats, hats, scarves, gloves and socks to any Lexington Police Roll Call facility or Lexington Police Headquarters through December 6, 2019.  The donated items will be given out the following day at the New Life Homeless Day Center at Third Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Lexington Police Homicide Detective Steve Cobb is a big man with a big heart.  He is humble and helpful, who practices what he preaches.  He touches lives and makes a difference all over the world, one person in need at a time.

“This world in 2019, we’re not the center of the universe.  You are not the most important person here.  In fact, serving other people is what you need to be doing to make sure that you humble yourself everyday,” Cobb said.




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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.