CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Chief of Police Anthony Cobb announced Thursday that he’ll step down from his position. He’s leaving the job to join the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, where he’ll serve as deputy director.
Cobb was appointed in 2012 and has overseen the Champaign Police Department for more than nine years. Before that, he served for more than 19 years with the Urbana Police Department, rising in the ranks from patrol officer to assistant chief.
“This community owes a tremendous debt to Chief Cobb for his many years of selfless public service,” said City Manager Dorothy Ann David in a press release. “Chief Cobb has been a model of policing through transparency, compassion, and community partnership.”
Throughout his tenure, Cobb purchased body cams for all officers and established regular reviews of all use of force incidents. He also signed onto the 2018 Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois NAACP Ten Shared Principles Agreement, to try to improve trust between the police department and communities of color.
“Serving as Chief of Police for the City of Champaign has been the honor of a lifetime and my absolute privilege,” Cobb said in a press release. “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.”
Cobb also said despite his resignation, he plans to remain a member of the Champaign-Urbana community.
The announcement comes at time when gun violence is becoming increasingly apparent in the local community. Over the past few months, Cobb has dealt with the loss of an officer and wounding of another. And, just last week, a shooting at an American Legion post in Champaign left one person dead and four others injured.
Cobb’s resignation is effective August 6th. The city says it will launch a nationwide search for his replacement as soon as possible.
(Listen to a 2014 interview with Anthony Cobb about relations between police and the African-American community here.)