Laurel Police Chief Tommy Cox has a clear vision for what his role in the Laurel Police Department should be. He believes in providing his staff with the resources that they need and letting them do what they do best. “My job is to set the tone and get out of their way,” he explained. “I have some phenomenal folks that work here and they do a phenomenal job. I just have to make sure that they have whatever they need.”
Cox is a 1996 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi where he also started his career in law enforcement as a campus police officer that same year.
In February 1998, Cox began with the Laurel Police Department and has recently surpassed 25 years of service. He started on patrol in 1998 and by 2000 was promoted to detective. From there, he worked his way up the ranks to detective sergeant, a sergeant in the narcotics division, lieutenant, lieutenant shift commander, and captain. When his predecessor Chief Tyrone Stewart passed away in 2019, Cox was appointed by the mayor to serve as the city’s chief of police.
Since taking over the role in March 2019, he has placed a strong emphasis on community outreach and public relations for the department. “We do a lot of our own PR and a tremendous amount of public outreach,” he said. He explained that while the department has always had public outreach programs, he and his team have worked to make them more robust.
Most of the time when people encounter a police officer it is due to a negative experience such as getting pulled over for a traffic violation, making a report after being involved in an accident, or making a report after being the victim of a crime, or, of course, being arrested. However, it is important that citizens have the opportunity to see that police officers are members of the community as well. “Police are just regular people who have a job to do,” Cox explained.
In addition to his own efforts as a member of the community, Cox also works with Captain Shannon Carraway, who serves as the department’s captain of public outreach. Public Outreach efforts of the department include maintaining the department’s social media presence and organizing various events throughout the year.
The department’s largest outreach event is the National Night Out Against Crime that they host each October. The event features corndogs and drinks, games, entertainment, and free backpacks to local children. It is paid for through the police department’s annual calendar sale fundraiser. The event is completely free and open to the public.
“I think they have a good relationship with us,” Cox said of the citizens that his department serves, “Our goal is to be professional in every contact and every call.” He plans to continue to oversee the enforcement aspect of his department while maintaining a good relationship with the community. His motto: Leave it better than you found it.
Chief Cox and his wife, Michelle have two children and two grandchildren.
To fulfill this mission, the Laurel Police Department is dedicated to maintaining an efficient and effective organization for the administration of police services. We provide a quality work environment and professional development resources for our members through effective, proactive, positive leadership and training.
Deputy Chief Earl Reed, a native of Belzoni, Mississippi, began his law enforcement career in 1994 as a police officer with the Laurel Police Department. Working his way up from patrolman, he established a distinguished career as a detective. He is a two-time recipient of the MS. Department of Public Safety’s “D.U.I 100 Club” which honors law enforcement officers who make over 100 DUI arrests within a calendar year. He has received many other commendations during his career as well. Reed served in the supervisory roles of patrol sergeant, detective lieutenant, and captain overseeing Investigations and Narcotics. Reed currently serves as the deputy chief over Operations. To contact Deputy Chief Reed, email him at email@example.com or call 601.428.6536.
About the Program
The Victim Advocate Program seeks to provide a variety of services to victims of violent crime through referrals, advocacy, and support.
The program assistance will ensure the victim’s rights are protected, and the victim is treated with dignity and respect throughout the criminal justice process.
What services does the Victim Advocate Program provide?
When should you contact the Victim Advocate Program?
You should contact us when you or someone you know has been a victim of the following:
Our office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Victim Advocate Program
P.O. Box 647
Laurel, MS 39441