LAUREL, MISS. – Wednesday evening during a press conference, Johnny Magee, the mayor of Laurel made his selection for the city’s next police chief.
“I would like to present to you my choice to lead the Laurel Police Department, John Thomas Cox,” Magee stated.
John Thomas Cox, also known by many residents as Capt. Tommy Cox started his career in law enforcement back in 1996 and later joined the Laurel Police Department (LPD) in 1998.
“You work for years at a place and you have a goal to become the chief, [but] I don’t want to make any bones about it, this is isn’t how I wanted to get it,” Cox said.
Cox will fill the vacancy left by the city’s previous chief, Tyrone Stewart, who passed away January 28.
“I guess we have to play the hand we are dealt and go forward,” Cox said.
Cox is one of three officers who took on additional duties when Chief Stewart took a leave of absence in May 2018, and later when he passed in January 2019.
Overall, Cox wants to maintain the same initiatives previously started by Chief Stewart.
“We are going to be very proactive and visible,” Cox said. “But we are going to keep our community initiatives going as well.”
Cox says the department remains committed to enforcing the law and engaging the community, and many residents say that are glad to have him selected as the city’s next chief.
“I believe the mayor made an excellent choice,” Susan Vincent, a Laurel resident said.
Magee also went into further detail, about why he chose Cox to serve as the city’s next police chief.
“He had the respect of the people in the department, and I think that will go a long way,” Magee explained.
Cox will not receive the official title of “police chief” until city council approves the mayor’s selection, which will take place at their next meeting on March 19.