New SOSU police chief is law enforcement veteran - - Texoma news, weather and sports

New SOSU police chief is law enforcement veteran

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DURANT, Okla. -- Durward Cook is the new kid on the block. It's his second day on the job as police chief and director of emergency management at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Cook has a quarter of a century of experience with the Durant Police Department, and was the agency's police chief until 2015.

Though his plan was to retire, he felt called to continue his career in public safety.

"I'm coming back home," he said. "I worked with the staff here, and I feel like to some degree I am coming back home to Durant, and I'm glad I can be a part of public safety here."

SOSU President Sean Burrage says Cook is a good fit on campus.

"He's a Durant native, he knows the community, he knows the university," Burrage said. "It's a good thing for the whole university and the community, and even Bryan County."

Cook has a vision and plan to make the campus safer. Southeastern has tackled issues with sexual assault in the past.

The new chief says his first order of business is to become a friendly face to students around campus and make them feel safe.

"If I can get a student or a staff member to stop me on the sidewalk and say, 'Hi, Officer Cook,' or, 'Hi, Chief Cook,' I feel like I would have gone a long way towards accomplishing that goal."

On addition to focusing on safety, Cook and university administrators are working on expanding their emergency management program to cope with severe storms.

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