Christopher Cook is an award-winning speaker and subject matter expert in the field of social media for law enforcement and media relations for public safety. As a Lieutenant for the Arlington Police Department, he oversees the public information office and has led the Arlington Police Department’s public and media relations strategies since 2011. Lt. Cook has been interviewed on local, national, and international news networks and programs.
Lt. Cook began his career in law enforcement in 1995 and has served in a variety of roles and capacities. Speaking and executive training engagements include the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Information Officers Association, Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, Texas Crime Prevention Association, Caruth Police Institute, and the SMILE Conference (SOCIAL MEDIA the INTERNET and LAW ENFORCEMENT). Lt. Cook also teaches agencies how to start a social media presence and critical incident management as it relates to media relations.
Lt. Cook holds a Master of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Texas and a Master Peace Officer Certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Lt. Cook was a 2012 graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas 67th Leadership Command College.
Lt. Cook was awarded the 2013 Connected COPS Social Media Leadership Award for his distinguished and exemplary leadership in the use of social media to improve public safety and enhance the Arlington Police Department’s community engagement and reputation. Under Lt. Cook’s leadership, the department has been awarded the Most Innovative Use of Social Media for three consecutive years (2012, 2013, & 2014) by the Texas Center for Digital Government. Arlington was also recognized for being the 6th Most Friendly Police Department in the nation in 2013. Departments across the country look to Arlington as a best practices agency when it comes to the way the department connects with citizens. The term, “tweetalong” was coined in Arlington in 2011 which is a virtual ridealong that has now been replicated in hundreds of countries around the globe. The department serves as a best practices agency on video production and creates inspiring content that resonates with citizens. The agency’s YouTube channel has netted over 2 million views.
Arlington has won international awards in 2015 and 2016 for the development of the department’s annual report. Under Lt. Cook’s leadership and direction, the 2014 annual report took third place honors and the 2015 annual report took place first place honors by the International Association of Law Enforcement Planners. He is recent 2016 graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police Session #63 from the Police Executive Research Forum.
Lt. Cook believes in being creative and supports innovation to humanize officers and reduce barriers between law enforcement and the public. APD’s robust social media philosophy now boasts over 150,000 followers and continues to grow. He was elected to chair the PIO Section for the International Association of Chiefs of Police in October 2015 and will serve a 3-year term.