In Memory of Detention Officer Tara Leanne Cook
Georgia officials briefed residents of the loss of a local corrections officer to COVID19. The virus has impacted many law enforcement officers and corrections officers. Their occupations put them at much greater risk. On Saturday, September 4, 2021, Tara Leanne Cook, badge number 734, passed away due to complications of the virus at the Hamilton Medical Center. Most likely, she contracted COVID19 while working as the admissions officer for the Whitefield County Jail. Officer Tara Cook was 42 years old.
Officer cook had served her community as a sworn officer with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Officer for over three years. In addition, she had earned her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia
Tara Cook was a vital part of keeping Whitfield County safe for residents. Corrections officers work directly with inmates and make sure that those who are dangerous do not have an opportunity to harm others. Cook served for over three years as a corrections officer.
Whitfield County is in the northwest region of the state of Georgia. Deputies with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office have jurisdiction of 291 square miles. The department provides law enforcement services to more than 105,000 residents. The department’s motto, which is included on their website, states their primary mission is “to promote a feeling of safety and security to the citizens of this community.”
Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement in the county and is responsible for the operation of the county jail. Officer Cook’s responsibility was to check in the inmates to the facility. WCSO also provides court services, court security and collects local taxes.
Detention Officer Tara Leanne Cook leaves behind her husband, parents, brother, and sister. Honor guards and local law enforcement agencies will pull together to demonstrate the gratitude from the community for the sacrifice she made on their behalf.
Captain Wesley Lynch gave some details about the loss of Officer Cook, with permission from the family. “I can confirm, per her family, that she died of complications from COVID. She was known to be conscientious, thorough, and meticulous in her duties as an officer. The Detention Division is extremely proud and grateful for the service of the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, who honored the family by their presence,” he said. “We are also thankful for the Dalton Police Department who volunteered to block various roadways for safety and so that members of the sheriff’s office did not have to leave the procession.”
The Fraternal Order of Prince George’s County Police Lodge posted condolences online. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and comrades in arms of Detention Officer Tara Leanne Cook of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia.”
Friend Brenda Kaylor shared a goodbye to Officer Cook online. “Oh Tara, life got away from us, and now you’re gone home to be with our Heavenly Father. I know you’re in the best place. I’ll miss you forever. We had lots of fun times. So glad you were in my life.”
Gail M. Pabst shared her sympathies for the family. “My family and I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and coworkers of Detention Officer Tara Leanne Cook during this difficult time. May they find comfort and support from those around them. May happy moments from the past bring forth precious memories to cherish for a lifetime. May God help heal their aching hearts. Thank you for your service, and may you rest in peace Detention Officer Tara Leanne Cook.”