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Cornelius News

After miraculous recovery, police corporal will retire

March 10. Corporal Lee Cook is retiring from the Cornelius Police Department after more than a dozen years with the town and almost 20 years in law enforcement. He was a security officer in the United States Air Force for six years prior to beginning his law enforcement career in 1987 with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

In 1998 he was hired by Mecklenburg County Security Police where he served until 2004 when he was hired by the Cornelius Police Department as a patrolman. He was recognized as a Master Police Officer before being transferred to the Criminal Investigations Division as an investigator. He was transferred to the Support Services Division and worked in Community Services prior to being promoted to the rank of corporal last year. He was an instructor as well and received both his Intermediate and Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from North Carolina Training and Standards.

Cook, who was known as a problem solver, was responsible for fleet maintenance which involved maintaining the fleet as well as ordering and equipping new vehicles. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure officers had vehicles in good working order and the up to date equipment they needed.

But last year he suffered a medical emergency after a routine surgery. He remained hospitalized for weeks in a medically induced coma and was not expected to survive.

“Those who loved him prayed for a miracle and stayed at his bedside around the clock during those critical days. Thankfully, his will to survive was strong and with great care from his physicians, family, and friends he did survive and was released from the hospital in early December. Unfortunately, the lasting effects prevented him from returning to the job he loved so much,” the Police Department said in a press release.

Cook was recognized for his years of service by Chief Bence Hoyle and received his service weapon from Mayor Chuck Travis.