Submitted by the City of Evanston
Evanston Police Chief Demitrous Cook today announced his retirement from the Evanston Police Department after four decades of police service.
Chief Cook has served as Evanston police chief since January of 2019, and has dedicated more than 30 years of his law enforcement career to serving the residents of Evanston, including through positions with the Evanston Police Department and Northwestern University Police Department.
“It has been an honor to serve this community for more than 30 years,” Chief Cook said. “Public safety requires building a strong partnership and positive relationships between the community and the police officers who serve them each and every day. I would like to thank the entire Evanston community, City Manager Erika Storlie and the Evanston City Council for their support as we have worked to improve quality of life, solve problems, and make our city safer for all who live, work and visit here.”
Under Chief Cook’s leadership, the Evanston Police Department enhanced its focus on building positive police-community relations, continuing community engagement initiatives such as Coffee with a Cop, Star Academy, the Citizen Police Academy, the Officer and Gentlemen Academy mentorship program, Five-O Fitness program, National Night Out, and the Youth Citizen Police Academy. The department also improved its complaint process, making it easier and more comfortable for community members to file police complaints.
In 2021, under Chief Cook’s leadership, the department achieved federal Use of Force Certification from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and in 2020 worked with The Northwestern Neighborhood & Network Initiative (N3) to conduct an external review of its Use of Force Policy.
Chief Cook also oversaw upgrades to the department’s radio communication system, improving reliability and enhancing interoperability with surrounding police departments, including in response to critical incidents.
Cook began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a police supervisor with the Northwestern University Police Department, serving both the Chicago and Evanston campuses. In 1984, he joined the Evanston Police Department as a patrol officer, rising through the ranks to become deputy chief of police in 2004, overseeing the department’s Support Services Division and later the Investigative Services Division. In 2010, Cook was hired as the chief of police for the Glenwood Police Department. He returned to Evanston in 2019 as police chief.
I am hoping for more transparency. The reason for the meeting with 3 council members, as seemingly significant in the sequence leading up to the abrupt retirement, isn’t clear and leaves a vaccuum for mistrust, projection of anger, etc., especially because Chief Cook was perceived by at least some of us as a talented and dedicated force for good in our community. If the $90,000 cost is accurate, I am not suggesting that’s insignificant.
You published….a press release directly from the city? One that happens to omit mention of the lawsuits against the chief? Maybe link to the press release and write a brief story noting the controversy, or don’t publish anything until you can do some reporting around it?
The article forgot to mention that he posted on social media private information of 30 innocent Evanstonians! Plus he cost the city at least $90,000 from people who sued him because of his violation of police policy!
I beginning to understand better that the Evanston RoundTable is not an investigative news outlet. Very unfortunate. And, it leaves room for one that is.
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