Brendan Cox is the Director of Policing Strategies at the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice, where he brings 23 years of experience in law enforcement and criminal justice reform. Brendan retired as Chief of Police from the Albany, NY police department in January of 2017. He was employed with the Albany police department for twenty-three years serving in many capacities throughout his career. After serving as a patrolman he was promoted to Sergeant in 1998 and oversaw a squad of patrol officers. He was promoted to Detective Sergeant in the Children and Family Services Unit. In 2004, he was promoted to Lieutenant and after serving a short time in charge of the Albany Police Department’s Special Operations Unit returned as the Detective Lieutenant in charge of the Children and Family Services Unit. In November of 2006 he was promoted to Commander and oversaw the Detective Division. In June of 2008 he was promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of Operations. In October of 2013 he was promoted to Deputy Chief. On July 22, 2015, the Honorable Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan appointed Brendan to Chief of Police.
In 2016, under Brendan's leadership, the Albany Police Department was recognized by the Department of Justice as one of the top 15 police departments in the country as part of the COPS Advancing 21st Century Policing Initiative. This was a direct result of strategies that were implemented on community policing and procedural justice platforms aimed at building positive relationships with the community. Included in these strategies were the implementation of a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) initiative, which included a department wide training in harm reduction, a Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents training and protocol, and training around implicit bias for both police employees and the community.
Brendan has a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Dayton and a Master of Public Administration from Marist College. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. He is a member of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and an Executive Fellow with the Police Foundation. He sits on several local board of directors including the Albany Central Avenue Business Improvement District and the LaSalle School of Albany.
He and his wife Ann have two children, Connor and Spencer.