Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb resigns for different job

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb has announced he is resigning from the department.

A press release from the City of Champaign says Cobb has accepted the position of Deputy Director of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. He’ll be leaving the post of police chief on Aug. 6, 2021.

The release says Cobb has served as chief for over nine years, after being appointed to the role on March 12, 2012. Before that, the chief served on the Urbana Police Department, moving up the ranks from Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Community Policing Officer, School Resource Officer, Investigation, Sergeant Lieutenant, to Assistant Chief of Police.

He has devoted over 28 years of public service to the greater Champaign-Urbana community, according to the release.

Champaign City Manager Dorothy Ann David told WCIA that Cobb’s resignation is “a great loss for the city.” She will be in charge of appointing a new chief.

Minnie Pearson, president of the Champaign County NAACP branch says Cobb genuinely cares about his community and the people in it.

“He welcomes the input from the NAACP and he was always willing to sit down and try and work out solutions, community solutions to the problems we are having,” she says.

The city manager adds that Cobb set a foundation for what they’ll look for in a future chief for the city. She adds the City will start a nationwide search for his replacement.

“This community owes a tremendous debt to Chief Cobb for his many years of selfless public service,” Dorothy Ann David said in the press release. “Chief Cobb has been a model of policing through transparency, compassion, and community partnership.

“The Chief has set a high standard of service, expecting that the men and women of the Champaign Police Department serve all persons with dignity and respect. His legacy will extend long beyond his time as our Chief,” says the city manager. “His appointment to this position with the Illinois Training and Standards Board is an acknowledgment of his professionalism, expertise, and leadership and will extend his impact to the law enforcement profession across the State of Illinois. 

“We wish him the very best and thank him for his long and faithful service to our community.”

As police chief, the release says that Cobb guided the Champaign Police Department into principles of modern policing, focusing on community engagement, police-community relationships, transparency, and implementing a fair and equitable model for public safety.

The City says that under Cobb’s leadership, CPD took several efforts to provide professional law enforcement services to the public. Those steps include:

  • Updating squad car dash cameras
  • Purchasing body cameras for all officers
  • Setting up regular reviews of all use-of-force incidents
  • Adding members of the public to the use-of-force review committee
  • Hosting on-duty community engagement opportunities for officers
  • Implementing citizen review of police complaints
  • Maintaining intelligence-led policing concepts to spot and address crime patterns affecting the community
  • Spearheading the multijurisdictional Street Crimes Task Force
  • Signed onto the 2018 Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois NAACP Shared Principles Agreement ‘to help bridge the gap of mistrust between police and communities of color’
  • Constant review of use-of-force policy and procedure
  • Upgrading CPD’s internal affairs software
  • Collaboration towards the development of a new countywide police records management system.

“Serving as Chief of Police for the City of Champaign has been the honor of a lifetime and my
absolute privilege. This community is my home, and today truly marks a bittersweet moment for my family and I as I pursue the next chapter of my professional career. I am proud of the progress we have made as a community, as a law enforcement agency and how we have been able to come together to advance police-community relations, though more work remains to be done. In my final weeks, I will have more time to reflect and comment on my nearly 10 years as Chief, and to offer my heartfelt appreciation to this community and all current and former Champaign Police Officers for allowing me to serve as Chief. Though August 6 will be my final day as the Chief of Police for the City of Champaign, I am happy to share I will continue to be a resident of our wonderful community.”

Police Chief Anthony Cobb

You can read the full press release here:

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