Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Melissa Merli chats with Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb. Getting Personal appears first in print, in the Sunday newspaper. In the July 15 paper, we'll have a chat with Jan Simon, director of community education at Parkland College.
What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?
Usually 4:45 a.m. I go to the gym and work out.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
A blackened fish sandwich and side salad.
Best high school memory?
I have several great high school memories. But beating Central High School, our cross-town rival, in a close football game was always great for bragging rights.
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
When I was about 25 I purchased a pair of shoes called Simple from Heel to Toe and they were the most comfortable shoe I've ever owned. The company that manufactured the shoe discontinued making the brand a few years after I purchased them. The shoes were brown leather suede with a rubber sole.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
Relaxing, spending time with family and friends as we cook out and enjoy a warm sunny day (75 degrees) with a mild breeze.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
Where on earth are you dying to go? Why?
San Diego. I've heard great things about the weather, the community and culture that I would like to experience.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
Never had pets.
Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
Yes, I see several similarities to my mother. My mother was very strong on accountability and consequences for poor decisions. My current job requires that I uphold these same attributes.
What would you order for your last meal?
A ribeye steak with a loaded baked potato and a nice garden salad.
What can you NOT live without?
Great family and friends.
Who do you have on your iPod?
Mostly R&B, jazz, rap and Gospel music.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
The birth of my children.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
I probably would select Bill Cosby, Charles Barkley and Oprah Winfrey.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Respect the decisions that adults make and help those who choose to help themselves.
What's your best piece of advice?
Give your best at all times and always go the extra mile.
What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?
I sold shoes at Sears for $3.35 an hour while in high school.
What was a pivotal decision in your career, and how did you arrive at that decision?
To retire from the Urbana Police Department and take a job at the Champaign Police Department. I arrived at the decision through a lot of dialogue with family, close friends and prayer.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
Yes, I'm a workaholic. I regularly get caught up in projects or assignments and forget to eat or lose track of time. This is not always healthy, and I need to make more time for me.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
I like to assess the situation and explore my options. As I assess the situation, I plan for the worst outcome and pray for the best possible outcome. Finally, I like to play to the strengths of my coworkers or team, so I must know those who are working with me well.