Alexandria Police Chief Earl L. Cook to Retire | News Release | City of Alexandria

Alexandria Police Chief Earl L. Cook is retiring after more than 37 years of service to the City of Alexandria, effective October 1.

“Chief Cook has devoted his entire career to this community, and we are indebted to him for his dedication and service,” said City Manager Mark B. Jinks. “Alexandria’s high quality of life and historically low crime rates are due in large part to Chief Cook’s leadership and the outstanding staff under his decades of command.”
Cook began as a police academy recruit in January 1979. Upon graduation, he worked in patrol and criminal investigations through 1989. Over the next six years, he was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and assistant chief. As assistant chief, he managed the criminal investigations bureau, and was named deputy chief in that role three years later. In 2006, he rose to the position of executive deputy chief, serving as second in command; acting for the chief in his absence; and providing significant direction on the police department’s policy and budget. In 2009, Cook became the first African American in the City’s history to serve as chief of police, assuming command of more than 400 officers and civilians.
The City has retained the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to recruit Cook’s successor from among the talented law enforcement leadership within the Alexandria Police Department and across the nation. The search will include input from stakeholders throughout the community; additional details will be announced as they are developed.
Cook was born and raised in Alexandria. He grew up on Princess Street and attended Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, Mt. Vernon Elementary School, Parker-Gray Middle School and George Washington High School through 10th grade. He transferred to T.C. Williams High School after the school was integrated, and became a member of the historic Titans football team. After graduating from T. C. Williams in 1973, he attended Duke University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and education. Cook is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s prestigious National Academy Program. In addition to his distinguished law enforcement career, he has been a champion of youth initiatives and mentoring.
“As a lifelong Alexandrian, it’s been an incredible honor to serve this very special community,” said Cook. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to pursue a rewarding career and work with some of the finest men and women in law enforcement. My retirement is bittersweet; however, I look forward to the future challenges in my life.”

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