Arthur Cooper Cheek, 37, a D.C. police officer since July 1973 and a lifelong area resident, died Jan. 8 in Howard General Hospital of injuries suffered in an automobile accident that day. He lived in Laurel.

A spokesman for the Howard County police said that Mr. Cheek's car was struck broadside by another vehicle when Mr. Cheek was turning onto Rte. 175 from an exit ramp on Rte. I-95. Police said that a traffic light at the end of the ramp was not working.

Mr. Cheek was born in Washington and was a 1962 graduate of Chamberlain High School. Since joining the police department he had worked in the downtown business area and was stationed at the 2nd District. He was a pistol expert.

A member of the Church of Christ of Manor Woods in Rockville, he directed the church's puppet ministry.

His marriage to the former Helene Clark ended in divorce.

Mr. Cheek's survivors include his wife, the former Victoria Anne Clark, of Laurel; two children by his first marriage, Anastasia Marie and Francis Clark Mort, both of Hyattsville; his father, Robert E. Cheek, a brother, Gary C., and a sister, Susan D. Cheek, all of Edgewater, and another sister, Stella M. Wright of Landover.