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.