What's Next for Departing Albany Police Chief Brendan Cox
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Albany Police Chief Brendan Cox is stepping down, sources tell Time Warner Cable News, to pursue other career opportunities after a little more than a year on the job.
While neither Cox, the Albany Police Department nor Albany City Hall responded Friday to requests for comment, the city announced a Monday morning news conference with the chief and the mayor.
Cox, the 24th chief of the Albany Police Department, took over for former chief Steven Krokoff. Cox became acting chief in April 2015 and was officially sworn in months later, in July.
Prior to becoming chief, Cox spent more than two decades in different roles within the police department. In that time, he became a visible figure in the community, and ensured many other members would do the same.
Since becoming chief, Cox has won praise and earned collaboration, even from those who once criticized police, like activist Alice Green.
"I think he's contributed so much, in a short period of time," Green said.
"You know, we traveled to Seattle to look at the LEAD program in the past, and he was very impressed with that approach."
LEAD became a signature of Cox's tenure, earning national accolade, but his year-and-a-half on the job has not all been easy.
For Cox, arguably the biggest case of his tenure was Dontay Ivy's death. Ivy died after he was shocked by police tasers back in 2015, right around the time he became acting chief. The officers who shocked Ivy were not charged, but his death set off calls for body cameras nd more transparency within the department.
Ivy's death came in the midst of national unrest over police killings of young black men, and yet, Albany remained mostly calm.
"It's obvious we didn't blow up in Albany with the Ivy, because one of the main reasons was Chief Cox, how he handled things, how he dealt with, how he worked with, how he helped," said Pastor McKinley Johnson, Albany African-American Clergy United for Empowerment.
In the more than year and a half since, Cox oversaw a number of changes to help increase public confidence. This past September, some police officers began wearing body cameras for the first time, testing different vendors. Cox also oversaw the creation of a department-wide body camera policy.
His efforts in community policing eventually earned him recognition nationally and even internationally. In February of last year, a group of nine men and women from the Republic of Georgia visited Albany to learn about their community police initiatives. Cox was still deputy chief at that point.
Speaking from out of town Friday, Albany Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin said Cox truly cares about his community.
"It was nothing for him to go to a community meeting, and sit there and talk, and hear the concerns of the people," McLaughlin said.
Sources in Albany confirm Cox will take those talents elsewhere AND join his beloved LEAD program at the national level. LEAD would not confirm Cox's hiring Friday, but said in a statement:
"Chief Cox was able to implement reforms that brought Albany communities together... we hope he continues to be a leading voice for law enforcement reform."
You can call Cox a visionary; a communicator; a chief able to bridge the divide between cops and community. Though his career as police chief here will end up being pretty short, Cox's impact will last much longer.
According to sources, Cox will leave the city within the next 30 days.