MIAMI COUNTY — After the passing of Sheriff Charles Cox earlier this week, local law enforcement officials shared their condolences and respect.
Cox, who at 28 years in office, was the longest-serving sheriff in county history, died Thursday morning.
According to the 2007 Miami County Bicentennial sheriff office history, Cox met with a Troy police officer with whom he served in the military at a Piqua-Troy football game. The officer advised Cox to take the test for the Troy Police Department. Cox started as a Troy police officer in 1969.
Cox left quite an impression throughout his law enforcement career, both as an officer, detective and then 28 years as Miami County’s sheriff.
Former Troy Police Chief William Frank shared memories of working side by side with Cox as officers at Troy Police Department. Cox served as a detective at the Troy Police Department for 13 years before joining the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.
“He was an excellent police officer. He was probably one of the best detectives I ever worked with. From what I know of other departments in the area, I would put Chuck Cox up against anybody’s top detective and he’d come up on top,” Frank said.
Frank shared a few stories of their work together, which included lots of laughs due to what Frank called Cox’s “accident-prone” antics at various incidents over the years.
“If there was something going on and somebody got dinged up a little bit, it was usually Chuck,” Frank said with a laugh. “He was just a good guy.”
Frank remembered Cox’s tenacity as a detective and his “great ability to get along well with people.”
“He could communicate with people. He was just an all-around great guy. I’m saddened by his passing,” Frank said.
Present Troy Police Chief Charles Phelps said, “Sheriff Cox was a good man and a respected resource for those in law enforcement. He was a man of principle and never afraid to fight for what he believed was right. His passing is a great loss and saddens us all.”
Miami County Sheriff administrators also remembered Cox on Thursday afternoon.
Lt. Dave Norman said working for Sheriff Cox was “like working for your dad.”
“He was firm and fair, if you screwed up you got in trouble. If you did something good, you got the appropriate praise,” Lt. Norman shared. “For me, Sheriff Cox was like Sheriff Andy Taylor and Miami County was his Mayberry. He never met anybody he didn’t talk to, and gave everybody all the time in the world to talk about anything they wanted to.”
Major Steve Lord said Cox was iconic in law enforcement.
“I think today he switched from being an icon to a legend,” Lord said on Thursday. “He’s going to be greatly missed. I think not only by the department but also by the community.”
Lt. Jamie McGlinch said he admired Sheriff Cox’s sense of “right from wrong.”
“He held us to a high standard. It was very important to him that we made the right decisions and followed through with things whether the outcome was going to be popular or not,” McGlinch said.
Tipp City Police Chief Eric Burris said he was saddened to hear the news of Cox’s passing.
“I owe that man a lot. He started my career in law enforcement,” Burris said.
Burris began his law enforcement career in 1993 working at the downtown jail for Cox. In 1995, he started as a patrolman with the Tipp City Police Department, which he took over as chief in 2013.
“Anytime I ever needed anything from the Sheriff’s Office, they’ve been there for us,” Burris said, adding that he appreciated the working relationship his department had with the Sheriff’s Office during Cox’s years of service. “I know that will continue under Dave Duchak.”
Burris noted that Cox passed away just two days after Tuesday’s election, saying that perhaps the sheriff held on long enough to know who would succeed him in office.
Piqua’s chief of police also held Cox in high regard.
“In my career, he’s only the second sheriff to hold office,” Chief of Police Bruce Jamison of the Piqua Police Department said, noting that he was not yet a member of management when the sheriff prior to Cox was in office. “I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Sheriff Cox.”
Jamison said that they occasionally had to work through issues together, whether it was issues in the community or between the sheriff’s office and the Piqua Police Department.
“He was always willing to work together,” Jamison said. “He could offer some really great advice whenever we would just sit around talking about challenges that heads of police departments and their community face.”
When Jamison first assumed his role of chief of police in Piqua, he was able to receive advice from Cox. It was advice Jamison felt he needed to hear from someone who knew the community.
“It was wise beyond my years,” Jamison said.
Jamison added that he has always felt fortunate to have the good working relationship he shared with Cox while hearing about some of the rough relationships that other police chiefs across the state sometimes have with the sheriffs in their counties. That was one reason that Jamison is confident that their good working relationship with the sheriff’s office will continue and not be hindered “due to this terrible loss.”
Newly re-elected 8th District Congressman Warren Davidson (R-Troy) said of Cox on Thursday, “Today is a sad day for Miami County. We have lost a great man and a dedicated public servant. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sheriff Cox’s wife, Lynn, and his entire family, as well as the fine men and women of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.”