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Michael Cox Hopes To Make A Difference As Ann Arbor's New Police Chief

Sep 9, 2019

Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU
On the job for nearly two months, Michael Cox says he's taking some time to get to better know the city and the men and women of the police department as he settles in to his new position.  He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about implementing some improvements and focusing on public engagement as the city's top cop. 

The new Ann Arbor Police Chief, Michael Cox, was sworn in this past July after working in the Boston Police Department for over 30 years.  He held a variety of positions there, ranging from being the superintendent in charge of professional development at the Boston Police Academy to running the Boston 911 center to even criminal forensic investigation work.  Cox says that he planned to leave Boston because he’d been there for a long time and wanted to go someplace new where he and his wife could eventually retire.

In Lisa Barry’s interview with Cox, he talks about his experiences with being on the beat during the Boston Marathon bombing.  He expresses how policing has really changed a great deal over the years and how they have to prepare for absolutely everything.  “Thirty years ago, you didn’t need a police presence at something like the Art Fair,” says Cox.  He does also say that police agencies in general are the most professional they’ve ever been in the history of policing.

Cox does lament, however, how the modern perception of police in general has created strain between police and the general public.  “When mistakes are made and it gets tweeted out and reported on social media, it gives the impression that every police officer acts out maliciously,” says Cox, “and that’s not the case.”  He says he is eager to work with the police oversight committee appointed by the Ann Arbor City Council to ensure a positive relationship between the city, the police force, and the residents of Ann Arbor.

Chief Cox says one of his goals as Ann Arbor City Police Chief is to incentivize public engagement and community policing amongst members of the Ann Arbor community.  “I think it’s important to make people aware that they’re responsible, not just us [the Ann Arbor Police] keeping them safe, but they’re responsible for keeping them and their communities safe,” says Cox.  He wants to encourage the Ann Arbor Police to help foster community awareness through outreach programs and having police and residents working together.  Cox is positive about this goal and says, “All of us together are far smarter than anything I could ever be, and that’s what I’d like to tap into.” 

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu