BOSTON (CBS) – As he prepares to retire from what he calls the “best police department in the country,” Bill Evans embodies that most “Boston” of virtues, a city kid who rose through the ranks, but never forgot where he came from.
“When I was debating what to do, it was to be a college chief or be a male model, I don’t think I was gonna make too much money in the modeling business,” Evans said.
Commissioner Evans is preparing to leave the force he’s served after 38 years. It’s a career that begins and ends with family.
His oldest brother Paul was also the commissioner. “He was the oldest brother I was the baby brother – there were six of us – pretty neat when two brothers of a major city police get to be commissioner,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone else has ever done that.”
His boyhood in Southie went with him as he helped families bear tragedy – even just this week when a child was hit and killed by a van in South Boston.
“Even the other day when I was at that scene on L Street, I feel so bad for those parents and I said my Father went through this almost 50 years ago,” he explained.
He remembered how hard it is when a family needs answers.
“When I was nine my closest brother Joe was crossing the street at I Street and the beach, a hit and run car came by and killed him and I always felt bad because my poor father was left with six boys and the fact that he had to live through that, I’m sure weighed heavily on his mind,” he said.
Evans says he is most proud that he never had to use his gun. “I think a policeman’s worst nightmare,” he said.
As he heads to run the police department at Boston College, he hopes to spend precious time with his family.
“My wife’s worried though,” he said. “I can’t nail anything – like I have no skills. No and I’m not gonna start now!”
Evans says he has been convinced that body camera technology can help police departments moving forward and says his advice to the new Commissioner William Gross is to focus on violence, keep kids safe and keep guns off the streets.