Matthew Cook, 34, was sworn in as the newest patrol officer for the Belfast Police Department May 5. He was hired to fill a vacancy left by Bryan Cunningham, who was promoted from patrolman to detective after Mike McFadden left in February to join the State Police Computer Crimes Unit.

Cook had been working for the Belfast police as a part-time reserve officer since December. He was also working as a full-time court security officer for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office in Augusta.

Cook, who grew up in Belfast, said he is looking forward to focusing completely on his new role.

“To be able to work with the public and interact with people that I know, like and respect is something I’m excited about,” he said.

Cook was an active-duty full-time soldier in the Army from 1993 to 1997. After his time in the military, he moved back to Maine, where he worked for nine years for MBNA. He worked for the Kennebec County Jail in 2008 before moving to the Sheriff’s Office, where he oversaw court security. He said he is happy to be on the law-enforcement end of things now.

“This is a big stepping stone for me,” said Cook. “At some point in my career I’d like to do some kind of narcotics or canine type of work. One of my long-term goals would be to work my way toward being able to work in those fields.”

Police Chief Jeffrey Trafton, who attended the swearing-in ceremony with Detective Bryan Cunningham and Cook’s wife, Susan, said Cook had done a “really great job” as a reserve officer. He said he was looking forward to working with Cook as a patrolman.

“He has gotten along very well and fits right in with the officers,” said Trafton. “He has an excellent work ethic and we are very happy to have him.”