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Purdue University Police Department Chief John Cox to retire July 31

To: Executive Vice Presidents, Chancellors, Vice Presidents, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments and Offices

From: Carol Shelby, Senior Director, Environmental Health and Public Safety

Date: April 29, 2022

Re: Purdue University Police Department Chief John Cox to retire July 31

Dear colleagues,

Purdue University Police Department Chief John Cox will retire effective July 31, 2022. John has spent more than 35 years in law enforcement in the community, beginning with the West Lafayette Police Department in 1987. John joined Purdue in 2000 and served as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and ultimately, as chief for the past 13 years. 

Over the course of his career, John has been a proactive and professional partner to both University and community stakeholders, and he has built collaborative relationships with other law enforcement and emergency management agencies. John’s engaged leadership has been instrumental to the partnerships Purdue enjoys today with all public safety agencies in Tippecanoe County and Indiana. Further demonstrating his commitment to public safety, in 2005, John completed the FBI National Academy, a challenging 10-week professional course for law enforcement leaders.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels offers the following thoughts on John’s retirement:

“Year after year Purdue’s campus is found to be one of the safest in the country, and John Cox deserves primary credit for that record. He has led with great professionalism but also with sensitivity to the uniquenesses of the population and environment in which PUPD operates. It will take a first-rate law enforcement leader to fill his shoes."

As the leader of PUPD, John has worked side by side with the men and women of the department to ensure the safety and security of the Boilermaker community. John has spearheaded the police department’s international accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Purdue is one of only two universities in Indiana and five in the Big Ten to achieve this key performance accreditation.

In addition to his career in law enforcement, John served as the Benton County coroner for eight years, bringing comfort to the citizens of Benton County at their most difficult time. After July 31, John plans to spend time with his family and the many friends he has made across the local community.    

Please join me in wishing John well in his retirement. In the coming weeks, a comprehensive search for a new police chief will launch.