A look at Cook

DPS Assistant Director retires

Ferris Captain Jim Cook retired from the Department of Public Safety after 28 years. Courtesy Photo

Captain Jim Cook, the assistant director at Ferris Department of Public Safety (DPS), is about to go on a golf trip but he fears the emotions he’ll feel when he returns. 

“I can only imagine, after I get back from my golf trip, that next week, what it’s going to feel like because I’m not going to work. I worked full-time for 40 years and I worked part-time for four years before that. To not go to a job, I’m sure will be very difficult,” Cook said. 

Friday, April 13, was Cook’s last day with Ferris DPS as he is headed into retirement. Cook has worked with Ferris DPS for 28 years, beginning in 1990 as a road patrol officer and receiving a series of promotions before becoming assistant director in 2004. 

A lifelong resident of Big Rapids, Cook graduated from Ferris with a criminal justice degree in 1980. He worked at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department before transitioning to Ferris’ DPS. Cook said he enjoyed working with students and gaining their respect. 

“You’re constantly meeting new people and new challenges, getting people to understand that even though I’m a police officer, you don’t know who I am because you just met me and I don’t know you, obviously. It’s gaining the respect of people that, at first, may not want to give it to you just because of prior bad experiences they’ve had with police. That’s been real rewarding,” Cook said. 

In his spare time, Cook enjoys bowling and playing trombone in the Ferris Alumni Jazz Band. He is also active in his church and volunteers with the Special Olympics. 

“I very much have appreciated the opportunities that I had here at the university and I look forward to the next chapter in my life,” Cook said. 

Cook hopes to spend his retirement traveling and visiting family. 

“We’re gonna travel more, now that I don’t have to wait for vacation days to be able to do that. Taking care of family—that’s what I want to do,” Cook said.

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