Updated: Aug 10
Like onions, some stories have many layers, and to fully understand that story, you must peel them one layer at a time.
The story of former football star John "Chip" Cox Jr. – who abruptly resigned from the Columbus Division of Police the day after he graduated from the Division's academy – is one of those stories.
Cox is a former Beechcroft High School and Ohio University linebacker who played 13 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Last June, the 39-year-old Cox inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, no small feat for a linebacker who stands only 5-foot-10.
Last December, Cox was one of 70 people admitted to the 137th Columbus Division of Police Recruit Class. And as The Sussi Report discovered, Cox didn't enjoy the same success in the classroom as he did on the football field.
In a six-page Intra-Divisional memo Sgt. Laura Suber emailed Chief Elaine Bryant on April 27; the Recruit Training Unit sergeant recommended that Cox be removed from the class. "Due to the level of specialized training required within a limited period, I find that Recruit Cox will not be able to complete the academy and/or field training," she wrote.
Cox and another recruit were the only two who failed all three Ten Code tests.
Cox was the only recruit that failed all three phonetic alphabet and spelling tests.
Cox failed the Core Value test 18 times.
Each recruit, according to Sgt. Suber was tasked with being placed in four scenarios and producing handwritten reports. Sgt. Suber wrote that Cox's reports had spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Sgt. Suber wrote that his narratives "lacked detail and content."
In a handwritten note Cox wrote and presented to Chief Bryant on March 7, Cox explained that he has "struggled with ADHA (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and dyslexia my entire life." Cox added, "That I am a much better communicator when I can speak instead of write."
In her memo, Sgt. Suber wrote, "Proper and accurate written documentation provided by law enforcement officers is essential to gathering evidence and facts; conducting and documenting investigatory information; issuing citations and criminal complaints, writing reports, providing facts and evidence to prosecutors, ect."
Chief Bryant discarded Sgt. Suber's recommendation and allowed Cox to remain in the academy.
Cox, remember, told Chief Bryant, "That I am a much better communicator when I can speak instead of write."
That wasn't the case on December 27, 2021. According to records, The Sussi Report obtained through a Public Records request; the Division called out Cox for a conversation with a recruit Justin Cox.
Here's how the conversation went.
John Cox: "What's up, Cox?
Justin Cox: "Hey, what's up, man? We're probably cousins."
John Cox: "Yeah, your family probably owned my family."
Justin Cox: "Whoa, chill, bro."
Both recruits had to write narratives of the encounter and acknowledge that it was not an appropriate conversation in the workplace.
In his narrative, John Cox explained that he was joking, adding, "Everyone has a right to feel comfortable in the work environment. Although what I said (may) have historical validity as it pertains to my family name."
To graduate, recruits must score at least 70 on the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy test. Cox scored a 61. Though he didn't graduate, Cox was allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony on July 29.
On August 3, Cox re-took the OPOTA text and scored 91. John "Chip" Cox was an official Columbus Division of Police officer.
The following day, he resigned. The Sussi Report obtained a copy of Cox's resignation letter to Chief Bryant.
I would like to take the time to thank the members of the Columbus Division of Police for giving me an opportunity in serving the City of Columbus as a sworn law enforcement officer. This letter confirms my resignation as a sworn law enforcement officer with the Columbus Division of Police. I request my two weeks' notice. My last day of employment will be August 4, 2022.
John C. Cox Jr.
Why did Cox abruptly resign after putting forth so much effort to become a police officer? Is Cox going to work for another police department? Or is he out of law enforcement altogether?
I contacted Cox through social media and am still waiting for answers.
What is clear is that Cox wasted taxpayer dollars and a place in the academy that another person could have filled.
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