Weare police officer Kenneth Cox retires

Monitor staff
Published: 9/15/2016 11:15:18 PM

Weare police Officer Kenneth Cox, a 16-year member of the department who has been involved in a couple of controversial cases in recent years, retired from the force at the beginning of the month, according to police Chief Sean Kelly.

Cox’s retirement was effective Sept. 1. He was a full-time officer.

“Ken’s contributions to the community cannot be understated,” Kelly said in a statement. “His effervescent personality, sense of humor, professional police work and undaunted courage will be missed.”

Cox was one of two officers to fire his weapon at the fleeing Alex Cora deJesus during a failed drug bust in August 2013 that gained the department notoriety in the region. DeJesus was killed in the incident, but Cox did not fire the fatal shot. Nearly six months after the shooting, the attorney general’s office released the names of the officers involved, but the investigation was inconclusive and no charges were brought. Cox, a sergeant at the time, was returned to the rank of patrol officer following the incident, a move he and Kelly say was voluntary.

The AG’s report stated that “many aspects of the Weare PD’s drug investigation and the implementation of the plan to capture deJesus were ill-conceived and obviously placed many police officers and private citizens at unnecessary risk.” The town eventually settled with deJesus’s family for $300,000.

Cox was also involved in a civil case where he was accused of using excessive force during a burglary arrest in 2012. Federal jurors rejected the claims earlier this year and Cox was cleared.

In the years since the deJesus shooting, the department hired a new police chief and began work on repairing its reputation. The department’s progress was noted when it received CALEA accredidation last year.

Cox began his career in law enforcement as an officer with the Memphis (Tenn.) Police Department in 1997. He moved to New Hampshire to join the Weare Police Department in 2000. Before becoming a police officer, Cox served in the U.S. Army, where he earned several honors and awards. In 2012, he was named officer of the year in Weare.

“He was always very professional and he cared about people,” said Weare Selectman Tom Clow. “He’s the kind of person you really want to have on your police force.”

Attempts to reach Cox were unsuccessful.

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