Harold Zook, criminal justice teacher and advocate, passes away

Harold R. Zook, 86, a former UALR educator and head of public safety whose career in criminal justice spanned 47 years, passed away on June 17.

A long-time proponent of education, Zook established two endowed scholarships for students at UALR.

One scholarship was established in the Department of Criminal Justice, where Zook taught for several years, and one was established at the Department of Nursing, named for his wife, Florence C. Zook, who preceded him in death.

Zook was a member of the UALR Heritage Society, having created a bequest that will benefit both of these scholarships. The Heritage Society was established to recognize alumni and friends who have made provisions in their estate plans for gifts to be made to the university.

Dr. Mary Parker, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, said Zook was extremely knowledgeable and ahead of his time in considering advanced education and training as integral to effective law enforcement.

“He never hesitated to help anyone in need and would lend a hand to do anything that needed to be done. His legacy will live on in those whom he mentored and who will, in turn, mentor others,” Parker said.

Dr. Charles Chastain, a long-time criminal justice professor at UALR, credited Zook with helping UALR set up advanced training for police that was previously non-existent.

“He knew almost every police chief in the state, and his experience and assistance was key in the creation of the Criminal Justice Institute. This allowed us to have a more realistic criminal justice program as opposed to merely theoretical,” Chastain said.

Zook, who contributed consistently to the Governor’s Law Enforcement Summit, was a strong mentor to many police officers and criminal justice students, according to Dr. Jeff Walker, professor of criminal justice .

“He was always happy to talk to people interested in this field and share stories with those who were involved in criminal justice around the world. Harold will be greatly missed, both by the Department of Criminal Justice and by law enforcement in Arkansas.”

In addition to his work with UALR, Zook was employed by the City of Little Rock, the State of Arkansas, and the U.S. Government. He served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, and the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis.

A graveside service with military honors was held on June 20, in Little Rock National Cemetery with Dr. Bob Dunaway officiating. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Little Rock Funeral Home.

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