CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It was a bittersweet day for one captain in the Corpus Christi Police Department. He hung up his uniform and took off his badge for the final time.
Capt. Dave Cook, a member of the police department for 40 years, retired on Friday. He spent much of his life serving the Corpus Christi community, leaving an impact on those he worked for, and those he worked with.
"It's kind of bittersweet," he said. "I've got a lot of emotion going on. I'm very sad about leaving this agency and the service of the community."
Cook began his career with CCPD in 1979, and became one of the department's most tenured officers.
He was promoted to lieutenant in 1992, working in the Patrol Division and the DEA task force. He was promoted to captain in 2004, managing the Narcotics/Vice Investigations Division, and managing the Organized Crime and Internet Crimes Against Children units.
In 2017, he was assigned to command the Emergency Response Unit, which consists of the SWAT team, hostage negotiators, dive team and bomb squad. He also managed the K9 unit and gang unit.
During his four decades of service, Cook built trust with the community.
"I can't count the number of times I've had people come up and thank me for my service, or purchase meals for me anonymously," Cook said. "I'm so blessed that we have such a strong tie with the community and they've been so supportive."
He also built trust and strong relationships with fellow officers.
"He's always on his game, so he always makes sure you're on your game," said CCPD Deputy Chief Billy Breedlove. "He is professional in every aspect of his life, and he's always looking out for his troops all the time."
Breedlove said Cook was well-known in the community and "he's always had sort of a reputation of being intense and professional."
"I can be somewhat abrasive, without a doubt," Cook said. "I have no problem telling people exactly what I think."
That's one of the impressions he leaves, but his coworkers also will remember his dedication to duty and the department.
"It's a great example of how do to a law-enforcement career right," Breedlove said. "Our community is going to be losing a great captain."
Cook said even though he's retired, he won't be too far from the station. He will maintain status as a reserve captain, and do public speaking for the police department.
"To those that I served with, I very much appreciate your focus and dedication to duty," Cook said. "It's been an honor and it's been something that I will always value, and it's a job I've always loved getting up to go do."
But for now, he said he's looking forward possibly buying a lake house and a new truck.