How a Champaign kid became police chief
Police Chief Anthony Cobb officially took his oath of office on Tuesday night, but he's been thinking about the job for months. He's been through a rigorous interview process, and last month, he spoke to me about Champaign police issues in general.
The interview was meant to be about his experience growing up in Champaign and eventually becoming its police chief for a story I wrote for last month's Black History Month section. But Cobb was very candid, and we quickly got off topic talking about some of his specific experiences.
I couldn't fit it all in the story, but I didn't want to deprive readers of some of his formative experiences. I would tell you the stories myself, but there's no way I can tell it as well as Cobb did. So I'll just post the audio clips and let him do the work.
In this first clip, he talks about some of the experiences he had with police when he was young, and how his perception of what happened changed after he came to understand the law enforcement profession:
Here, he talks about what happened when he first started as an officer at the Urbana Police Department:
In this last clip, maybe the most important considering his new job, he talks about what is going to be important for the Champaign Police Department moving forward:
Photo: Anthony Cobb, left, is sworn in by Champaign Mayor Don Gerard as the new police chief on March 13, 2012. Credit: Heather Coit/The News-Gazette.