For more than 40 years, William John Cox vigorously pursued a career in law enforcement, public policy and the law. As a police officer, he was an early leader in the “New Breed” movement to professionalize law enforcement.
Cox wrote the Policy Manual of the Los Angeles Police Department and the introductory chapters of the Police Task Force Report of the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals, which continues to define the role of the police in America.
As an attorney, Cox worked for the U.S. Department of Justice to implement national standards and goals, prosecuted cases for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and operated a public-interest law practice primarily dedicated to the defense of young people.
Professionally, Cox volunteered pro bono services in two landmark legal cases. In 1981, representing a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, he investigated and successfully sued a group of radical right-wing organizations which denied the Holocaust. The case was later the subject of the Turner Network Television motion picture, Never Forget.
Cox later represented a “secret” client and arranged the publication of almost 1,800 photographs of ancient manuscripts that had been kept from the public for more than 40 years. A Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls was published in November 1991. His role in that effort is described by historian Neil Asher Silberman in The Hidden Scrolls: Christianity, Judaism, and the War for the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Cox retired as a Supervising Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California, where he led a team of attorneys and investigators who targeted the prosecution of attorneys accused of serious misconduct and criminal gangs engaged in the illegal practice of law.
Over the years, Cox has written extensively on public policy, philosophy and politics. Hello: We Speak the Truth, written under the pseudonym of Thomas Donn in 1978, was one of his earliest efforts.