‘It's Bittersweet': Boston Police Commissioner Looks Back at Career With Police Department

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the five days after the Boston Marathon bombings were the worst of his entire career

What to Know

  • Boston Police Commissioner William Evans retires from the department next week, will then lead Boston College's department.
  • Evans says he has loved every minute of the job and that he's honestly going to miss it; he said it was a family decision to retire from BPD
  • Evans says the day Dawn Jaffier was killed will always stick with him, and that Boston Marathon bombings were hardest days of his career.

When one door closes, another opens. Next week, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is retiring, saying goodbye to nearly four decades with the department.

NBC10 Boston’s Shannon Mulaire sat down with Evans to talk about his years of service and what legacy he hopes to leave behind.

Leadership doesn't just happen by chance. In Evans' case, it runs deep in his blood. His brother, Paul, was Boston’s Police Commissioner from 1994-2003. The younger Evans and South Boston native also sought a career in law enforcement. He joined BPD when he was 20 years old.

“With this job there is a lot of commitment,” said Evans. “I love this job, but it was a family decision to retire more than anything else.”

Among the many events in his career, Evans says he will also remember the Boston Marathon bombings. He had just finished running the marathon when the bombs exploded.

“I still think about the three victims,” said Evans. “I think what happened that day and how the city came together. I think it brought the city closer together. Probably it was the worst five days of my whole career - from running the race and going straight out... probably sleeping 10 hours all week. It was great satisfaction to run that final scene and be one of the first ones on the boat to capture that suspect.

It's no surprise a year later, Evans became Boston's next police commissioner. Within a week, he promoted six minority officers, creating the most diverse command staff in BPD history.

During his tenure, he also implemented new anti-bias policies in the police department and focused his attention on community policing.

He says the day Dawn Jaffier was killed at the Caribbean festival in Dorchester in 2014 will always stick with him.

“She was mentoring. She was a role model for all those kids,” said Evans. “She goes out to enjoy the Caribbean festival and gets killed in the cross fire. That one really stuck in my head, because she was a beautiful girl, doing the right thing…and senseless gang violence took her life.”

Evans says he’s going to miss the men and women on the force.

“I know how hard they work every day,” said Evans. “I'll clearly miss that. I'll miss going to all the calls. I'll never stop being a cop.”

Next month, Evans heads to Boston College to run its public safety department.

Right now, he's saying goodbye to perhaps his most memorable run yet.

“It's bittersweet. I've loved every minute of it, but there's also a time and a great opportunity to move onto, but honestly I'm going to miss the job,” Evans said.

Superintendent William Gross has been named as Evans' replacement. Evans says he would advise Gross to keep focusing on community policing and tackling the city's senseless violence.

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