Chief Brendan Cox (Ret.)


Brendan Cox is the Director of Policing Strategies for the LEAD National Support Bureau. He joined the LEAD National Support Bureau after 23 years of experience in the Albany Police Department that culminated in him serving as Chief of Police.

During his career, he oversaw the implementation of a true community policing philosophy involving broad external and internal stakeholder involvement. This came at a time when the relationship between the police and community was severely fractured. Chief Cox helped to facilitate the process of re-establishing ties with community members, neighborhood associations, and the department so that trust and respect could be built upon. This led to the development of a strategic plan for the Department and the residents of the City to follow.

While continuing to foster positive police/community relations, Chief Cox was able to implement several initiatives that increased the department’s legitimacy. One such initiative was the implementation of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) initiative. LEAD, started in Seattle, allows officers to divert low level offenses driven by addiction, mental illness, or poverty away from the criminal justice and into services. This has led to a decrease in recidivism while dealing with public health problems in the appropriate forum.

Chief Cox also oversaw the implementation of several initiatives meant to continue to focus on decreasing childhood trauma and improving relationships. These include a Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents protocol and a city-wide gun violence reduction initiative that included prevention services within the police department.

In 2016, under his leadership, the Albany Police Department was recognized as one of the top 15 jurisdictions in the COPS Advancing 21st Century Policing initiative regarding the implementation of the President’s Task Force for 21st Century Policing. The department furthered its development of a fully oriented community policing agency by creating a police academy on the principles of community policing, procedural justice, and the 21st Century recommendations. The department’s training curriculum was expanded to include implicit bias, procedural justice, harm reduction, and crisis intervention.

Chief Cox holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Dayton and a Masters of Public Administration from Marist College. He is a 2012 graduate of PERF’s Senior Management Institute for Police and is a member of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group.

He lives in Loudonville, NY with his wife Ann and their two sons, Connor and Spencer.