“Maryland African American Pride Magazine has named Lamonte Cooke the Outstanding Achiever in the July/August 2008 issue.
“It was a real surprise and I am very honored,” said Cooke, who is featured in an article inside the magazine as well as on the cover.
Cooke is director of the Queen Anne’s County Department of Corrections and warden of the county Detention Center. He is current president of the Maryland Correctional Administrators Association.
Cooke is a native of Philadelphia who moved to Chestertown in 1974 and the following year became the first African American deputy sheriff in Kent County. In 1987 Cooke was named warden of the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center.
“Lamonte is a tremendous asset. He is well recognized across the state for his leadership ability, his expertise in the area of criminal justice as well as his long-time commitment to public service,”” said County Commissioner Courtney Billups.
Cooke is a graduate of Chesapeake College and was trained at the Police Academy and National Institute of Corrections in Colorado. He serves as vice-chair of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission, is a member of the Wor-Wic Community College Criminal Justice Program Advisory committee and an adjunct instructor with the college’s Criminal Justice Academy.
Cooke is a true advocate for the criminal justice system and has testified on legislative matters involving criminal justice issues during Maryland’s General Assembly sessions. He currently chairs the Upper Shore Regional Corrections Task Force looking into building a regional correctional facility for Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline counties. Cooke has served the state on the Maryland Mental Health Advisory Commission and the Governor’s Sentencing Commission.
In 1995 Cooke was named acting Queen Anne’s County administrator when the late Bob Sallitt was ill. “I was only supposed to be there eight to ten weeks but it ended up being a whole year,” said Cooke. The experience, he said, was a great one and prompted him to want to learn even more about public administration. Cooke completed the certification program at the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance, sponsored by the Maryland Association of Counties.
Cooke is past president of the Centreville Rotary Club and has served on the board of Kent and Queen Anne’s Hospital; now the Chester River Hospital Center; as well as serving on the Kent County Board of Education. He and his wife Linda have two daughters.
Maryland African American Pride Magazine is a community service publication available at over 100 locations across the Eastern Shore.