‘It’s going to be heartbreaking’: Boston’s top cop reflects on career in wide-ranging interview

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston’s top cop says he will miss leading the city’s police department when he leaves his post next week, but believes his decision to retire is what’s best for his family.

Reminiscing in his office Friday alongside 7’s Sharman Sacchetti, William Evans proudly showed off his many marathon medals, the badges he’s held over the years and pictures of himself as a young police officer

Evans announced Monday that he would be calling it quits after 39 years on the force.

“It’s going to be heartbreaking for me, believe it or not, turning in my badge, gun, turning in my phone, my computer,” he said.

Evans said he will always be a police officer in his heart and soul as he talked about the many moments that will stick with him forever.

“I lived through the marathon bombing, I ran that race, and to be back at the finish line an hour later to see those young kids killed because of the terrorist bombing,” he said. “Those five days I’ll always remember.”

Evans said it’s the tragedies that affect him the most, such as the 3-year-old boy who was hit and killed in South Boston on Wednesday.

“You don’t forget those things,” he said. “You can’t help now as a parent think what those parents are going through.”

Evans lost his parents at a young age and wishes his father could have could have seen him now.

“I’m just real sad looking back that he’s never seen two of his sons, the oldest and the baby, go on to be Boston police commissioners,” he said.

Evans said he plans to keep running and that it may be tough to settle into a predictable schedule at Boston College, where he will work as the head of public safety.

“They’re probably going to study me,” he said with a laugh. “It’s going to be hard.”

Evans believes the Boston Police Department has come a long way on issues such as race. He said the biggest challenges that remain are gun violence and also crime.

When asked how people will remember him, Evans said “I’m not sure. I hope they remember I gave it 100 percent. I care deeply about the city. It was an honor to provide public safety to this city.”

Evans explained that his biggest success on the job was creating trust within the community.

“I want them to remember I gave my heart and soul to this job,” he added.

His only regret? Not spending more time with his family. His last day as commissioner will be Aug. 4.

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