After a 41-year career, Bellingham’s top cop says its time to retire

Bellingham Police Chief Clifford Cook
Bellingham Police Chief Clifford Cook Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Police Chief Clifford Cook is retiring effective Nov. 30 after 41 years in law enforcement, according to a news release from the city.

Cook has been police chief in Bellingham since February 2013. He has had a “long career of public service and effective leadership,” according to the release.

Cook said his reasons for retirement were based on the need to spend more time with his family.

“After much introspection and the need to assist my siblings and parents, I have made the difficult decision to retire,” Cook said in a prepared statement. “After 41 years of service, this is a hard decision for me. It is particularly difficult when I consider what a great department BPD is and how fortunate I have been to be your Chief.”

Cook previously worked in other city police departments, including as chief in Vancouver, Washington.

Mayor Kelli Linville said she would announce an interim chief in the next few weeks.

“Chief Cook has provided outstanding services to our community and exhibits strong ethical and strategic leadership for the Bellingham Police Department,” Linville said. “I wish him the best in his future endeavors. He will be missed.”

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt