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Vinton Announces Retirement of Police Chief Ben Cook

October 8, 2015 | Virginia News

News Image VINTON, VA – The Vinton Town Council has announced the retirement of Police Chief Benjamin L. Cook, effective October 25, 2015. A native of Franklin County, Cook came to the Vinton Police Department in 2001. He is retiring after nearly fourteen years of service with the Town, the last four years as Chief of Police, completing 30 years of service to the public.

Chief Cook began his career with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department in 1985. He also worked with the Franklin County Department of Public Safety as a Firefighter/Paramedic and a Fire Marshal, and with the Norfolk Southern Railroad Police Department as a Special Agent. In 2001, he joined the Vinton Police Department and has held various ranks since that time. In July 2011, Cook was named as interim Chief, and then appointed by Council as Chief of Police in December 2011. Chief Cook also served as the Emergency Services Coordinator for the Town, ensuring the emergency operations plan is up to date and coordinates emergency services functions during critical incidents. Cook has a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety/Criminal Justice from Bluefield College, is a graduate of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy, attended the Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond, and the Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar sponsored by the FBI.

When he announced his retirement plans to Council, Chief Cook was quoted as saying “I would like to thank Town Council, Town Staff, the men and women of the Vinton Police Department, as well as the citizens of Vinton for the support and trust they placed in me to serve as Chief of Police. The Vinton Police Department is a professional and dedicated law enforcement agency that will continue to serve our citizens well. I am also excited about the opportunity to be part of the LewisGale Medical Center staff and look forward to beginning this new chapter in my professional career”.

Mayor Grose thanked Chief Cook for his years of service to the Vinton community and for his dedicated service to the public over the past 30 years. “Chief Cook has served honorably and leaves an accredited department that is respected in our region. I look forward to a smooth transition with a very dedicated and strong police department. Our officers are highly committed to serving the Vinton citizens.”

During the transition, Town Council will appoint an Interim Chief at the October 20th Council meeting, who will lead the department until the recruitment process is complete.

Cook will be joining LewisGale Medical Center as Security Manager. In this position, he will provide management and oversight of security operations as well as coordinating emergency response activities and disaster planning for the facility. “LewisGale takes the safety and security of our patients, visitors, and employees very seriously, and we are very fortunate to have someone with Ben’s experience and skills assume this responsibility,” says Michael Abbott, Chief Operating Officer, LewisGale Medical Center. “We are looking forward to Ben joining our LewisGale family.”

About LewisGale Medical Center
LewisGale Medical Center is part of LewisGale Regional Health System which includes 4 hospitals, 2 regional cancer centers, 6 outpatient centers and affiliations with both employed and independent physicians. With 3,300 employees, its annual payroll is $245.6 million. The system also paid $31 million in taxes and provided more than $125 million in uncompensated care to those most in need in 2014 alone. LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Commonwealth with nearly 15,000 employees. For more information see www.lewisgale.com.

For more information, please visit www.vintonva.gov, or call 540-983-0607.