BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Police Commissioner William Evans has officially announced he will retire from the department.

Mayor Marty Walsh hosted a press conference with the commissioner Monday.

evans1 Boston Police Commissioner William Evans Officially Announces Retirement

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans as he announces his retirement (WBZ-TV)

Evans is slated to become Boston College’s Executive Director of Public Safety starting August 6 — an opportunity he called “the right fit at the right time.”

The move was first reported by WBZ-TV on June 28.

“It’s been an honor to serve as commissioner and I want to thank the mayor for all his confidence. I’ve debated this quite a bit,” said Evans.

He continued to thank Walsh by saying, “He’s not only a great leader for this city, he’s become one of my best pals. I’m going to miss him but I’ve told him I’m going to be on speed-dial for him. I’m fortunate to work with a leader like Mayor Walsh.”

Next, he thanked his wife and three children. “A lot of times I’m grumpy and they’ve put up with that,” he joked.

“The stat I’m most proud of is we’re down 23 percent on people we’ve had to arrest so our crime numbers are continuing to go down and we’re doing that through a lot of good community work. Also, the amount of guns., we’ve almost taken 3,800 guns off the street. Our use of force complaints are down 46 percent since 2013,” Evans said. “I think under our administration, we’ve taken community policing to a new level and I hope other departments around the country do the same.”

Walsh also highlighted the department’s work with community policing over recent years. “Commissioner Evans and his office built trust in this community and has left a very strong, solid foundation…I am immensely proud of appointing Commissioner Billy Evans to be the Boston police commissioner. It was probably one of the most, if not the most important decision that I had to make and it was the right decision.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley also released a statement about the announcement. ““The Boston Police Commissioner’s job is a massive and multi-faceted management responsibility, but Bill Evans approached it with a deeply personal touch. His love for the city and its residents is matched only by his pride in the department he’s served for almost 40 years…We’ve all seen Commissioner Evans on television or at a crime scene after something terrible happens. But we’ve also seen him in every neighborhood of the city for park openings, church services, and flashlight walks, night and day, when there wasn’t a camera in sight,” he said.

Evans grew up in Boston and has been a part of the Boston Police Department for almost 39 years. He moved up the ranks throughout is years of service and became commissioner in 2014 after a year as interim commissioner.

“In my head and in my soul, I’ll always be a policeman, but at the same time, I’ve got to do what’s best for my family and take a step back,” said Evans.

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