MILTON — Friends say Milton Police Department Capt. David Cox left quite an impression on them.  

Cox, who died May 10 of an undisclosed illness, served the city for almost 40 years. Councilman Alan Lowery knew him his entire career; it's a friendship that stems to when Lowery was a firefighter with the city.

“David came to work for the city a couple months before I did, in 1979," Lowery said. "David was always exactly the same guy. He was just a rock.

“We could have conversations between us since we’ve known each other so long I might not have had with everybody ... He was one of the first people that talked to me after I was elected. He told me to always remember where I come from ... I considered him a very good friend. He will be greatly missed." 

When former Milton Police Chief Greg Brand retired at the end of February 2016, both Cox and current Chief Tony Tindell applied for the position.

Until Tindell officially received the promotion, he handled operations while Cox handled administration.

“We’ve worked together since December of ’88,” Tindell said. “He’s like a brother to me. We’ve seen a lot of things we probably wish we’ve never seen. But we’ve had a lot of great experiences together working here, serving the residents of the city. He’s enjoyed his career every bit as much as I enjoyed mine.”

Since becoming chief, Tindell said Cox was his right-hand man.

“Some people you meet, you automatically make a good team with, and that’s the way my and David’s relationship has always been.”

The police department has lost 40 years of police experience and knowledge, according to Tindell.

“That stuff doesn’t always get written down," he said. "We’ll hit stumbling blocks in the road where before you could say, ‘Hey, David, what about this?’ We’ll have to do some research and cover some things that normally was just a phone call away.”

One thing that can’t be taught is the relationships Cox developed with residents over the years, Tindell said.

“It’s just hard; once you lose somebody that has just that much tenure here, not only just the working knowledge of the police department but the relationships with the citizens themselves … We know a lot of our residents, David more than I.

"He grew up in Milton and lived his whole life here.”

Services will take place at 1 p.m. May 12 at Trahan Funeral Home, 6539 Trammel Dr. in Milton.