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August 25, 2009

City of Alexandria Names Earl L. Cook Chief of Police

News Highlights:

  • Acting Chief of Police Earl L. Cook has been appointed as Alexandria’s Chief of Police, effective immediately.
  • Chief Cook, a native Alexandrian, is a 30-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department and the first African-American to serve as Chief of Police in the City’s history.

Today, Alexandria City Manager James K. Hartmann announced the appointment of Acting Chief of Police Earl L. Cook as the new Chief of Police. He is a 30-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department and the first African-American in the City’s 260-year history to serve as the Chief of Police. Chief Cook, who is also a native Alexandrian, will be responsible for the administration of a 400-member police department. He replaces former Chief of Police David P. Baker, who resigned on July 28.

Chief Cook has spent his entire career as a member of the Alexandria Police Department. He began as a police academy recruit in January 1979. Upon graduation from the academy, he worked in patrol and criminal investigations until 1989. Over the next six years, he was promoted several times, advancing 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 Deputy Executive Chief, serving as second in command; acting for the Police Chief in his absence; and providing significant direction on the police department’s policy and budget.

Chief Cook was born and raised in the City of Alexandria. He grew up on Princess Street and attended Lyles-Crouch 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. He currently resides in Alexandria and has three children and two grandchildren.

For more information, contact Tony Castrilli, Director, Office of Communications, at 703.888.7166 or e-mail