Meet the City’s New Police Chief

(Contributed Photo)
New Orinda Poice Chief David Cook.

    The city wasted no time in finding its next police chief when it tapped a former lieutenant who has been with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office for more than 21 years and brings expertise in emergency services – the No. 1 safety issue in Orinda.
    David Cook took over as chief effective Sept. 23, less than a month after former Chief Mark Nagel retired from the sheriff’s office and took a post at Saint Mary’s College. Orinda contracts with the sheriff’s office for police services.
    Cook was selected after going through interviews with two different panels that included fire and school representatives, participating in a written exercise and a one-on-one interview with the city manager who ultimately made the final decision.
    “My aim is to maintain and improve upon the high level of police services already present while working to ensure the city is prepared to respond to potential natural disasters,” Cook said.
    Cook holds a Master of Science degree in Emergency Service Administration from California State University, Long Beach. He began his career with the Contra Costa County Sheriff in 1998 and progressed through the ranks serving in many capacities ranging from detention, patrol, homeland security and emergency services and special operations. 
    His most recent assignment was as Commander of the Marine Services and Air Support Unit in Oakley. The Marine Services Unit provides a variety of public safety and boating enforcement services on the 250 miles of waterfront jurisdiction within the county while the Air Support Unit provides airborne patrol, rescue, and firefighting services throughout the county. 
    Mayor Inga Miller, who was not on the selection panel, said she was glad to hear Cook is familiar with the concept of community policing, which includes forming partnerships with other agencies such as the school district, to address safety issues.
    That approach is needed, Miller said, because “our challenges include very limited resources.”
    To that end, Cook said, “I will work in close collaboration with the City Council, city manager, schools, community, and other public safety agencies to identify priorities and address challenges.”

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