New police chief right at home
Col. John Evans, 44, was named Manassas Park’s acting chief upon the retirement of John Fenner in May. He officially took over the position as the city’s top cop Sept. 3 after a recommendation from city manager David Reynal and an appointment by the city council.
Before Evans worked in Manassas Park, he was a Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy for a little over a year. He has lived in Manassas Park for about 10 years.
The Fairfax County native began his law enforcement career in the Air Force, where he worked as a police officer and law enforcement specialist while holding the rank of sergeant.
He is a graduate of Fairfax High School. It was during his high school years that his love of law enforcement began, he said.
“I’ve always had an interest in law enforcement, ever since I was in high school,” Evans said. “The work, nothing is ever the same, it’s always changing.”
Evans, a husband of 16 years and father of an 11-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter, said he loves working in Manassas Park because it is a small, “close-knit” community.
Although Manassas Park is small, policing can still be a challenge, Evans said.
“Being in a small community, we have the same responsibilities as larger departments, just on a smaller scale. It requires us to work with the agencies near us,” he said.
Although Evans is from Fairfax County, he had strong ties to Manassas Park before he ever chose to move to the area. He worked in the city as a teenager and also has relatives there.
“I love my job; it’s a good job,” Evans said. “[I] look forward to coming to work every day.”
Evans is responsible for oversight of 21 sworn police officers, 15 civilians and a $2 million annual budget. He also manages the police and emergency communications centers for the city and acts as the liaison between his and other police agencies.
“It’s a very close, professional, working relationship,” he said. Because of this, he felt the same stress other area police chiefs did during the sniper saga.
“I was in the same situation every other chief was. There was a concern for the safety of the community and we took steps to assure the community that we were there for them.”
Staff writer Daniel Drew can be reached at (703) 878-8065.