Wed. April 14, 2021, Speaker: Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox on: "The Importance of Community Policing Today."

Wed. April 14, 2021, Speaker: Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox on:
“The Importance of Community Policing Today.”
Ann Arbor Police Chief Michael Cox was a victim of excessive use of force members of his own department in 1995 when he worked as an undercover officer in Boston. … After the demoralizing ordeal, he wanted to separate himself from policing, but persevered to play a role in fighting injustice.

The incident is written about in a book called “The Fence,” and there has been discussion about turning it into a movie.  Cox says he doesn’t talk about what happened very much, because he doesn’t have a victim mentality and doesn’t want to be seen as one either.  He tells WEMU’s Lisa Berry, he worked hard educating himself and advocating for more balanced policing before eventually retiring from the Boston police department and being hired as the chief of police in Ann Arbor.

Chief Cox says some of his officers are now coming to him nearly in tears confused and hurt by the anger they are encountering by citizens while out in the community.  He says they took a vow to serve and protect and feel they are being judged by the worst police behavior in the country.

Saying “we should know better by now,” the Ann Arbor police chief said, “This is a movement with so many people involved and [he’s] worried it will impact the possibility of adding younger people and new officers to the job because they won’t want to do it.”

Cox says once healing has begun, there definitely needs to be a conversation about police reform but feels strongly that police officers need to be part of that conversation.  He adds, “Police are being talked about…being talked over..being talked through,,,but not really being talked with, which is necessary for sustainable changes to policing.*

*source: https://www.wemu.org/post/ann-arbor-chief-shares-his-personal-story-police-brutality-concerns-officers-now-job#stream/0