Cook to be introduced as new Bellingham police chief

Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville plans to introduce Clifford Cook as Bellingham’s new chief of police during a presentation at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, during the next Bellingham City Council meeting.

The meeting is open to the public, and will be televised live on BTV10 and live-streamed on the city’s website.

Linville said, in a statement, that Cook’s leadership and management experience, ethical and respectful demeanor and expertise in all facets of law enforcement were among the many qualities he demonstrated throughout the selection process and in her subsequent interactions with him.

“Cliff is a strong, steady, ethical professional with the experience and skills necessary to lead us into the future as our police chief, according to what we learned throughout our extensive hiring process,” the mayor said. “My many interactions with him since then have confirmed these key strengths and the breadth of leadership and experience in all aspects of law enforcement he brings to Bellingham.”

Cook, 57, has 36 years of professional law enforcement experience. He most recently served as chief of police for the city of Vancouver, Wash.

He weathered several controversies during his tenure in Vancouver, including a no-confidence vote from the Vancouver police union and having Vancouver’s city manager overturn his decision to fire one of his department’s officers, according to reports by The Oregonian of Portland, Ore.

Yet the law-enforcement professional has garnered support from Mayor Linville, Bellingham Police Guild President Chad Cristelli and Bellingham Police Lieutenant Mike Johnston, according to past statements.

Cook takes over the department from former chief Todd Ramsay, who retired last year.

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