A look back at Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb’s career


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) –“Bittersweet. Bittersweet is the word I’m using,” Anthony Cobb, Champaign Police Chief, said.

It’s a decision of mixed feelings for one police chief as he’s preparing to step down for good. Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb announced he’s resigning. Over the years he’s served at two different police departments, served on many boards and volunteered his time to his community.

Chief Cobb accepted a position as deputy director with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and while he says its bittersweet to leave. He will be missed by the community.

“Its very exciting, very flattering. Right now just trying to come down a little bit. I got a little bit of time to get ready,” Chief Cobb said the day he was sworn in as police chief.

On March 12, 2012, Anthony Cobb was sworn is as Champaign Police Chief. Nine years later, he announced his resignation.

“Its bittersweet. I’ve enjoyed my career. I’ve loved the things I’ve had the opportunity to learn and deal with, to address the citizens I’ve been able to serve. The individuals I’ve been able to help,” Chief Cobb said.

Chief Cobb started at the Urbana Police Department. He served there for 19 years, rising through the ranks as a Patrol Officer to Assistant Chief of Police, before moving over to Champaign Police Chief.

“Chief Selection Committee for their thorough professional process and ultimate selection of me. I am blessed and humbled,” Chief Cobb said in 2012.

During his time as Chief of Police, Cobb led his department to create a new form of policing. This included mending police and community relations. In 2018, he signed onto the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the NAACP Shared Principles Agreement to bridge the gap of mistrust between communities of color and police.

“We’re going to work our way through to the point where we’re going to be able to synergize and come as one,” Chief Cobb said in 2012.

Also during his time, Chief Cobb updated in car cameras and body-worn cameras for all officers and spearheaded the Street Crimes Task Force. Its an impressive resume, and when he was being sworn in as Chief of Police, his mom told us she always knew he had it in him.

“I told him he could be the president of the United States. I always raised him to strive towards the best and he’s proven it,” Chief Cobb’s mom said.

Now, after more than 28 years of public service, he will get to spend more time with his family.

“It gives me the opportunity to be a little bit selfish. A little bit more time doing some of the things that are important outside of my professional care. I’ve had a great career. I’m proud of it. I’m happy with it and a chance to explore something a little bit different, but with a little bit different winds,” Cobb said.

City Manager, Dorothy Ann David, will appoint an acting Chief of Police after Chief Cobb leaves. His last day is August 6th.

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