Vernal “Vern” Cox Sr. has resided in the West Ward of Irvington N.J. for 19 years. He is married to Robin M. Cox and they have five children; Denice, Jamie, Vern Jr, Winston, and William.
Vern started his professional career in law enforcement with the New Jersey Department of Corrections in 1974 at Rahway State Prison, where he worked as a Corrections Officer. In 1977, he transferred to the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center located in Avenel, N.J. He worked there until 1980. At that time he accepted a position with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and stayed on there as an officer until 1982. He then returned to New Jersey Department of Corrections and remained there until 1984, at which time he accepted a position as a Parole Officer with the New Jersey State Parole Board. While working in this position he served as Executive Vice President and, subsequently, as President of the New Jersey State Parole Officers Benevolent Association Local 326, the union representing all Parole Officers in the State of New Jersey. In 1999, Vern was offered and accepted the position of Assistant District Parole Supervisor (Sergeant), and later, District Parole Supervisor (Lieutenant) at District Office # 4 in Jersey City. He retired from the New Jersey State Parole Board in 2002 after 25 years of service.
During Vern’s tenure with the Department of Corrections and the New Jersey State Parole Board, he continued his educational pursuit, obtaining an Associate Degree in Police Science at Essex County College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice at New Jersey City University as well as completing 30 graduate credits in Criminal Justice at that institution.
Realizing that he could not just sit down after retirement, Vern went back to graduate school and obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from N.J. City University. He began his second career as a Social Studies teacher at Irvington High School in 2003 while in graduate school. He continues to teach and is currently the 1st Vice President of the Irvington Education Association, the union representing teachers and secretaries. He is an active member of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) as well as the National Education Association (NEA). He believes that education is the key that opens the door to success.
More recently, Vern has served as a Commissioner at the Irvington Housing Authority, a position that allowed him the opportunity to advocate for our seniors and disabled citizens residing in public housing. He resigned from this position after being appointed to the Irvington Township Municipal Council as the West Ward Council Member on July 1, 2014 at their Inauguration/Reorganization meeting. Vern currently serves as West Ward Democratic Chairman as well as District Leader for the West 7 district.
In all positions held by Vern Cox, he has established a reputation of being a hard worker whose approach is “no-nonsense, no excuses”. He believes in getting the job done and will push until it is done. He believes in action, not words, and knows that a person can best be judged not by what he/she says but rather by what he/she does. As the West Ward Councilman, Vern has demonstrated what can be done when people work together. He is passionate about improving living conditions in his ward. He is actively engaged in efforts to clean up the streets as well as abandoned properties in the West Ward. As a retired lawman, Vern is well aware of the need for people to feel safe in their homes and community and is supportive of all initiatives to eradicate crime from our neighborhoods, including community policing.
Vern is very active on the Irvington Municipal Council, as Chair of the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and serving on the following Council Committees:
- Ad Hoc
- Alcoholic Beverage Control (Chair)
- Bonding and Capital Improvement
- Budget/Revenue and Finance
- Housing and Redevelopment
- Parking, Traffic, Bus Stops (Chair)
- Public Safety
- Rent Leveling
- Towing (Chair)