Former Los Angeles Police Sergeant and Prosecutor for the State Bar of California
"Policing a free society requires an understanding between the people and their police that laws are enacted and enforced for the public good."
William John Cox is a retired prosecutor and former police sergeant. During his time with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), he authored the LAPD Policy Manual. He also wrote the chapters on the role of police in America for the Police Task Force report of President Nixon's National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals.
William's opinions on drug laws are informed by his expertise on law enforcement goals and the role of police in society. In 1973 and 1974, he served as the special assistant of the director of the Office of National Priority Programs in the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, which implemented national criminal justice standards and goals.
William also served as president of the San Diego County Chapter of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), which was instrumental in establishing the first Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission and drafting the national Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. He explains, ""Policing a free society requires an understanding between the people and their police that laws are enacted and enforced for the public good. Criminalization of drug possession and use only benefits criminal gangs with little or no benefit for society."
Appointed a Deputy Los Angeles County District Attorney in 1974, William prosecuted a wide range of criminal cases in the Municipal and Superior Courts for the next three years.
William was born on a cotton farm near Lubbock, Texas as the eighth and last child. Orphaned at age 10, he was raised by siblings until he attended New Mexico Military Institute, from which he graduated in 1958. After a four-year enlistment, Cox was honorably discharged as a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class in 1962.
Not surprising considering his lineage from American Revolution patriots Samuel Cox and Solomon Cox, William has served as a public interest lawyer, author, and political activist.