Cook supervises 280 clients
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Tim Cook was named the supervisor with Probation and Paroles with the Alabama Department of Corrections 21st Judicial Circuit on Dec. 10, 2005, which moved him into the top position in this area. He has been a probation/parole officer since 1998 and upon the retirement of Alan Caudle, he applied for, and was given the opportunity to become the supervisor.
Caudle retired in March of 2005 and for the next two or three months, Cook was the only officer in the office on Edgewood Drive. This meant that he was in charge of the approximate 280 active clients twho are seen every month, either in office visits, job visits or home visits. Then there are others he sees on a semi-annual basis, making for a very busy schedule. In June of last year, he finally got some help from Officer Archie Dansby who came from Monroeville.
One of the things that make it difficult for the caseload in this area is the fact that it is the same area that contains Holman Prison, a maximum security prison, Fountain Correctional Facility, which is a medium security prison, and the Atmore Community Work Release. Prisons fall into either maximum, medium or minimum security categories and they house prisoners from around the state. That is where it gets a little bit complicated for the officers in this area.
Cook and his office are like most state offices and want to get their share of what is available and it is never enough. In the meantime, they do the best job they can and hope they are making a difference.
Cook is number four of five sons born to Billy Earl and Gayle Cook. Billy Earl was a police officer with the Brewton Police Department when Glen Holt was the police chief.
He had a wife and five boys and decided he would become a lawyer to better provide for his family. The whole family picked up and moved to York where he entered Livingston University and worked in a factory while Gayle taught school.
When Billy Earl finished school, the family moved to Billingsley in Autauga County where the young Tim Cook began his education in 1971. While his dad attended Jones School of Law in Montgomery and his mother went to AUM to get her master's degree, they both got jobs in Billingsley teaching school.
After the senior Cook graduated from law school in 1974, the family moved back to Brewton and the boys attended W.S. Neal High School while their mother taught there.
He entered Jefferson Davis in 1984 and took a job with K-Mart, first as a stocker and then as a security officer in loss prevention. One of his jobs while he was working at K-Mart was to be the security for Garth Brooks when he made a visit to Brewton to do an album signing. Cook later transferred to Troy State University and graduated from there in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He got a chance to use his skills as an EMT by working at a local ambulance service.
After such a traumatic beginning, Cook worked at the police department for more than five years. He was married in 1992 to Heather Murphree, who is a teacher at Brewton Middle School. They have two children, Lauren, 10, and Logan, 6.
Although he stays very busy with his work, Cook says his favorite times are spent with his wife and children. He likes to hunt and fish and loves anything he can do and be outdoors. His office has no windows and getting outside is a real treat.