New Atlantic Beach police chief shares her vision for the community

New Atlantic Beach police chief shares her vision for the community

Atlantic Beach police have finished a decade's worth of work and re-opened their public safety building.

At the ceremony marking the occasion on Thursday was the woman set to be the city's next police chief.

Action News Jax sat down with Michelle Cook, who shared her vision and what it means to be the Duval County area's first female police chief.

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“Don’t really come to work every day thinking, 'Oh, I’m the first female chief.' I’m just excited to be the chief and for this opportunity,” Cook said.

Cook started as a downtown beat cop with JSO in 1992. Throughout her career, she rose through the ranks and left as the No. 3 in charge under Sheriff Mike Williams.

“Although I’m a goal-oriented person, I never looked too far into the future. I was a more of 'What can I get out of today?'” Cook said.

Cook said the department is already in a good place but her experience leading emergency preparedness with JSO has given her some ideas for improvement.

“Relationships from that experience that I can bring out here to help Atlantic Beach better prepare for not only hurricanes but other emergencies that may arise,” Cook said.

A new adventure for Cook, who plans on doing what she’s always done.

“I think women bring a very new and unique perspective to law enforcement and fortunately there are a lot of women across the country that are moving up in the ranks,” Cook said.

Cook will officially start at the beginning of August.