ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A man who loved God, his country, and his family is how loved ones described Sgt. Joseph A. Cox Jr.
On Wednesday, a stretch of Maplecrest Road was renamed in honor of the fallen Allen County Sheriff Deputy who died in 2017 while on duty.
The Sgt. Joseph A. Cox, Jr. Memorial Parkway is a 4-mile stretch of Maplecrest Road (formerly Adams Center Road) from East Paulding Road to Lake Avenue.
More than a hundred people packed the Allen County Sheriff`s Department Training Center for the dedication ceremony. Speakers included U.S. Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters and New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael.
“Sometimes you think that maybe people forgotten, or maybe they don’t care anymore. But when I turned the corner to come in here today, I was just overwhelmed with emotion that so many people were here,” said Diana Cox, Sgt. Cox Jr’s widow. “Many of these officers aren’t on duty, many of them work first and third and they came here on their own time.”
Diana Cox, spewed emotion during the ceremony, after witnessing the outpour of love from the community. She told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee, a couple of years ago, she wanted to find a way to honor her late husband. Now, four years after his death, her vision became a reality.
“I probably go this path probably everyday living in New Haven,” said Diana Cox. “I am thankful, this has been a long process. I probably started asking about how to get a road dedicated to Joe March of 2019. Turns out that the road that I picked is City of New Haven, City of Fort Wayne and Allen County.”
Diana Cox reflected on how she met her husband at Riley Hospital for Children and nine months after dating they got married. She added that at the time of his death, they had 13 grandchildren now they have 21.
“He was probably the most eternity minded person I have ever met, he was always thinking about heaven and how it’s not just this life,” Diana Cox said.
Sgt. Cox Jr. was a resident of New Haven. Mayor McMichael said he was a true example of a servant leader.
“This is a great example of the legacy that Sgt. Cox left on New Haven and the entire Allen County community. He was a true leader, a man full of principal,” McMichael said.
The route is an area that Sgt. Cox regularly traveled and patrolled, the sheriff’s department said.
According to Allen County Chief Deputy, Troy Herschberger the only other officer to receive a road dedication is Officer Eryk T. Heck, who was killed 24-years ago in the line of duty.
“It’s an honor for me to be here for the family, for his wife, children. It’s an honor to do this,” said Chief Deputy Herschberger.
“Sergeant Cox served the Allen County Sheriff’s Department with distinction as a patrolman, canine officer, Emergency Services Team member, firearms and vehicle safety instructor, supervisor, and led our department’s fatal investigation team,” said Allen County Sheriff David Gladieux.
The designation occurred on the anniversary of when Sgt. Cox began his watch. He began his service to the Allen County Sheriff`s Department on July 7, 1997, after serving his country as a United States Marine.
Sgt. Cox died on Feb. 12, 2017, after suffering a medical emergency while responding to a crash. He was a member of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department for nearly 20 years.