Two Bellevue Police Employees Retiring After Over Three Decades Of Service Each

Captain Jim Hershey (left), and Sgt. Gary Cook (right) have a combined 72 years of service with the Bellevue Police Department. 

Longtime Bellevue Police employees Gary Cook and Jim Hershey will be retiring at the end of this month after lengthy careers.

Captain Hershey was hired by Bellevue PD in January of 1978. Captain Hershey spent over 15 years in Traffic, first as an Officer and later as a Lieutenant.  As the traffic unit supervisor, his passion for the mission of the Traffic Unit and drive to make the Motorcycle Unit one of the most elite in the region was unmistakable.  He trained himself and the motorcycle Officers under his supervision often.  He developed some of the region’s best motorcycle instructors, and consistently supported the unit’s active participation in regional motorcycle organizations like the North American Motor Officers Association (NAMOA).  In the early years of NAMOA, Bellevue Motorcycle Officers would routinely win several awards at the annual conferences.  Jim was instrumental in the development and prestige of the unit.  He wrote the first manual specific to the Motorcycle Unit.  His attention to detail in planning and coordinating special events operations throughout the city set standards that are still followed to this day.  The current officers in the Traffic Division feel his impact on the unit almost every day – Regularly, residents will approach Traffic Officers and ask about “Officer Hershey” to inquire if he is still riding a motorcycle and issuing tickets.  Almost every resident of Bellevue of any age seem to have a story from their early driving years in Bellevue involving Jim Hershey.

In 1999, Captain Hershey, along with officers of the Motor Unit, received the Police Medal for exemplary performance while assisting the Seattle Police Department when WTO turned into a major protest and violence occurred. A Seattle Police Sergeant suffered a heart attack and protestors would not allow the Medic Unit to exit the area where the victim was located. The Bellevue motorcycle Officers, led by then Lieutenant Hershey, continued into the crowd, reached the medic unit, and escorted the aid unit back through the resisting crowd of protestors to safety.

In August of 2004, Captain Hershey transferred to the Investigations Division where he supervised the White Collar Crimes Unit and the new Forensic Detective Position.  He was instrumental in developing, planning and acquiring the necessary equipment for the success of that position.  In March of 2008, Lt. Hershey was assigned to the Persons Crime Unit, which oversees Violent Crimes, Special Assault, Domestic Violence and the Forensic Detective.

Jim was promoted to Captain in February of 2013 and worked in the Patrol Section until being transferred to the personnel services unit as a temporary assignment, serving there for 18 months until his retirement.

Gary Cook began his law enforcement career with the Garden Grove, CA Police Department and was hired by Bellevue Police in March of 1985. In 1991 he transferred to the Traffic Division and remained there until he was promoted to Corporal in 1999. Gary was promoted to Lieutenant in 2012. Bellevue Police Lieutenants were re-classified as Sergeants in 2016.

Sgt. Cook was the first Patrol Officer to participate in our Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) program in the 1980’s. His training and expertise in forensics made him the go-to person for all things evidence related. He instructed CSI classes and mentored many CSI trained Officers. Sgt. Cook has also been a member of the Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) since 2012.

16 thoughts on “Two Bellevue Police Employees Retiring After Over Three Decades Of Service Each”

    1. Man- Officer Hershey was awesome! He used to stop by Sammamish High when I was a senior (1987) and come check out the smoking area to make sure all we were smoking was cigs… he was cool and funny! Happy Retirement!

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    2. I did a ride along with Officer Hershey way back in high school. He still proceeded to bust up our Newport High School keggers at Eastgate Park on a regular basis. A good man, with a great skill for dealing with naughty teens. Thanks Officer Hershey!

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  1. Congratulations to both of you!
    Wow 30 years! It just seems like yesterday. Thank you so much for your duty in the city of Bellevue. Happy retirement to the both of you 🙂

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  2. Congrats Capt. Hershey on your retirement. I enjoyed working with you and getting to know you even before I started working for the City. My daughter and her friends at Bellevue High School knew you well. The City is loosing a very well known and respected public servant.

    Also congrats to Sgt. Cook for your long tenure with the City. Hope you enjoy retirement as much as I do!

    Yvonne Tate

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  3. “Officer Hershey” was an icon to Bellevue teens in the 80’s. He had an incredible ability to seek out teens who were in possession of alcohol; in the woods, at our parties, in cars parked at church parking lots.
    He was always calm and cool yet he presented as frighteningly stern. We thought of him as the father of our city; clear and trustworthy. There was something under all his police-ness that made us feel like he actually cared about us.
    Thank you sir, may your legacy spread throughout the blue part of our nation.

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  4. Captain Hershey…. Too many years have past since I heard the name “Hershey”… It was a privilege and joy working with you while I was in the “Records Division” and supporting you and the other officers when i worked in the radio shop! You always brought a smile and a laugh to our offices… Congratulations on your retirement… It is fun!

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  5. It was Hershey who pulled me aside and recommend I don’t ride my bike in the streets in downtown Bellevue. Ha! Times have changed!

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  6. Congratulations on your retirement! Growing up in Eastgate during the early 80’s you truly were the nieghborhood father. You knew all our names, and our stories. I worked bussing tables at El Torros, and even there you had a fan club. You were the first police officer to actually take the time to say “Hi” and smile. You gave the badge and job a human quality that I carry with me today. You changed lives by taking the time to care. Thank you for all that you have done. I’m a mother, and grandmother now. But yes, the legioned of Officer Hershy will always be told amongst the Eastgate youth.

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  7. Officer Hershey, thanks for not giving me a ticket for taking two parking spots for my Buick Riviera at Bellevue Square

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  8. Officer Hershey,
    Wow, it is incredible to hear your name. I moved to California for college and stayed away for 20 years before moving back home several years ago, but throughout the years, we have brought up your name and shared Officer Hershey stories. I grew up at Spiritwood Manor in the 80’s and you came to our door more than a few times (for my brother). My Mom got to know you well.
    Thankfully my brother, sister and I graduated from college and lead successful lives; but our childhood memories (and fear) of Officer Hershey will live on forever! Thank you for caring.

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  9. Officer Hershey – thank you for your service for people of Bellevue. I graduated from Bellevue high in 1993 and I PROMISE that you made the people of the city safer because we all knew you would get us if we were doing dumb stuff. That is what we needed. And I can tell you that you were always respected amongst us, which is a big statement from what were just kids. Congrats on your retirement and thank you so much for being such an important part of our city and our lives. You are the only police officer many of us knew by name – because of what you did. Have a wonderful retirement. Brian Hall

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  10. Congratulations on your retirement, Capt. Hershey! And thanks for NOT giving me that ticket back in February of 1982!!

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  11. Two of my favorite people! Thank you for all of the great years of service to the citizens of Bellevue! It has been great working along side you both for almost 40 years! Wow! Enjoy your well deserved retirements!

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  12. What?? I remember that name. No, I had no personal run-in’s with Officer Hershey. All though I did know you dealt a lot with the youth. You have been with BPD for ever. You musta been about 6 yrs old when you hired on with the BPD. Happy Retirement, Happy Longevity!

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