PORT TOWNSEND — After nearly 30 years in criminal justice, Port Townsend Police Chief Michael Evans is planning to retire.
Evans, who has served with the Port Townsend Police Department for 20 years, has resigned his position effective March 2.
“After much contemplation and discussion with my family, I have decided to retire from law enforcement and move on to the next adventure,” he wrote in his resignation letter Feb. 12.
“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the people of Port Townsend for the amazing opportunities and adventures afforded me,” his letter said.
“To serve such a community within the police department while raising my two children into adulthood has been a blessing and a childhood dream come true.
“I was a young man with great ambition coming here, and now a much older man with lifelong stories and content soul leaving here.”
Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro said Tuesday night he will take a “phased approach” with an immediate solution followed by a process to hire for the position.
“I’ve been inspired by the proactive approach that the police department has taken under Michael’s leadership to build lasting connections with community groups like Dove House, Port Townsend School District, and the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) partnership,” Mauro said.
“The development and implementation of the Navigator program came under Michael’s watch, and I’m proud of our compassionate, proactive and responsible approach to behavioral health.”
The Port Townsend Police navigator is a mental health professional who helps community members connect with resources they may need.
What started as a part-time position is now full-time as Jud Haynes is embedded with the police department and works with those struggling with a number of conditions, from hunger or addiction to homelessness.
Mauro said it’s a program he doesn’t want to lose with Evans’ retirement.
He also said Evans will be “sorely missed” because he is well-known as a community volunteer and mentor, and as a Little League coach.
“I leave with deepest gratitude to all my colleagues in city government and all those within our partnering agencies and community groups,” Evans wrote.
“We all worked together in wonderful collaboration towards the common goal to improve life quality. Where we lacked in resources, we compensated with alliance, fortitude, and the will to do good.”
He thanked the men and women of the police department, as well as those who no longer serve, for the years of “backup” as they looked out for one another and for the community.
“It was an honor to serve on the thin blue line with you,” Evans wrote. “You all have been a great inspiration to me, and you will be most missed.”
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].