Champaign’s Chief of Police Anthony Cobb has announced his resignation effective August 6, 2021. Chief Cobb is leaving the City of Champaign to accept the position of Deputy Director with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Chief Cobb has been Champaign’s Chief of Police for more than nine years, having been appointed to that role on March 12, 2012.
“This community owes a tremendous debt to Chief Cobb for his many years of selfless public service. Chief Cobb has been a model of policing through transparency, compassion, and community partnership,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David. “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. His appointment to this position with the Illinois Training and Standards Board is an acknowledgement 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.”
During Chief Cobb’s tenure, he helped guide the police department into the principles of 21st century policing, focusing on community engagement, police-community relations, transparency and implementing a fair and equitable model for public safety. Under Chief Cobb’s leadership, the police department took a number of action steps to proactively provide professional law enforcement services in response to the community’s changing needs. Among others, these include updating in-car cameras and purchasing body-worn cameras for all officers; establishing regular review of all use of force incidents including adding members of the public on the Use of Force Review Committee; on-duty community engagement opportunities for officers to strengthen and build upon the Department’s history of community policing; the implementation of citizen review of police complaints; continuing intelligence-led policing concepts to identify and address specific crime patterns that affect our community; helping to spearhead the multijurisdictional Street Crimes Task Force; signing onto the 2018 Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) and the Illinois National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Shared Principles Agreement to help bridge the gap of mistrust between police and communities of color; constant use of force policy and procedure reviews; reaccreditation through the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP); the upgrade of the Department’s internal affairs software; and collaboration toward 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,” said Chief Cobb. “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.”
As Chief of Police, he has served on several boards and committees to help advance public safety, organizational goals, and community well-being. These currently include the Champaign County Community Coalition, METCAD Policy Board, Public Safety Records Management System Board, Rosecrance Community Board, Public Safety Advisory Committee (University of Illinois), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Prior to leading the Champaign Police Department, he also served for more than 19 years with the Urbana Police Department, rising through the ranks serving as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Community Policing Officer, School Resource Officer, Investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Assistant Chief of Police.
Chief Cobb is a graduate of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Illinois University. He completed the Northwestern Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command where he was presented the prestigious Franklin M. Kreml Leadership Award, awarded to a student nominated by his or her peers for displaying the leadership, dedication, devotion, ethics, and sense of justice needed in today’s law enforcement community.
As a lifelong member of the Champaign-Urbana community, Chief Cobb has devoted in total more than 28 years of honorable public service to our greater community.
City Manager Dorothy Ann David will appoint an Acting Chief of Police prior to Chief Cobb’s departure. The City will launch a nationwide search to recruit a new Chief of Police as soon as possible. A public announcement will be made when the Acting Chief is appointed, and more information concerning the Chief recruitment process will be shared when it becomes available.