Two of Winnebago County's top leaders release a joint statement following the death of Rockford Police Office Jaimie Cox, who was killed early Sunday morning in the line of duty.
Chairman Frank Haney and Sheriff Gary Caruana write:
On behalf of the County Board, Sheriff’s Department, and the County of Winnebago, we would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to Officer Cox, his wife and entire family, as well as his many life-long friends. It is clear that Jaimie represented the very best of who we are as a community. He is a great example of what we need in our young people today – someone who grew-up here, made a commitment to furthering his education, found his passion, and was committed to making his hometown a better place as an adult. There is no doubt he will be missed but his impressive track record of service to others will serve as an example for all of us to follow.
We would also like to extend our condolences to Mayor McNamara, Chief O’Shea, the Rockford Police Department, and City employees. Although there are multiple cities inside Winnebago County, we are ONE community today – a community grieving the loss of one of its best and brightest. To that end, thank you to all who serve as first responders and work to keep us safe.
The Chairman will continue to be in regular communication with the Mayor and the Sheriff will continue to be in regular communication with the Chief. We remain committed to working with our partners through this most difficult and tragic of times.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea says Officer Cox made a traffic stop in the area of East State Street and Dawn Avenue just after 1 a.m. Sunday.
A short time later, Cox made a brief transmission indicating he needed assistance. Officers responded to the area and found a single vehicle crash about two blocks north of the original stop.
Offices at the scene found the driver, 49-year-old Eddie Patterson, dead inside the crashed vehicle. Officers also found Cox at the scene of the crash, critically injured.
Police officers on the scene attempted life-saving maneuvers on Cox before he was transported to the hospital. Cox was pronounced dead a short time later at OSF St. Anthony's.