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A look at William Evans’ career on the Boston force

Police Commissioner William B. Evans’ nickname might surprise you: It’s “Mouse.”
Police Commissioner William B. Evans’ nickname might surprise you: It’s “Mouse.”(Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe/File 2017)

Police Commissioner William B. Evans will announce his retirement later Monday, according to several law enforcement officials.

Evans, born and raised in South Boston, took over as acting commissioner in 2013, after the resignation of Edward F. Davis. He was appointed to the post permanently in January 2014, days after Mayor Martin J. Walsh was sworn in for his first term.

Here’s some background on Boston’s top police official:

■ He’s the second person in his family to be commissioner. Yes, that’s correct. His brother, Paul Evans, was Boston’s police commissioner from 1994 to 2003. He has four other brothers, too.

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■ In 2013, he ran the Boston Marathon, then led the department’s response to the bombings. He was soaking in a hot tub when two pressure cooker bombs went off near the finish line. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted for his involvement in the plot and was sentenced to death. His brother, Tamerlan, was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown days after the attack.

Evans went for a run along South Boston’s Day Boulevard in 2016.
Evans went for a run along South Boston’s Day Boulevard in 2016.(Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe/File)

■ Evans runs, and runs, and runs. “You see a lot of terrible things on this job,” Evans said in a 2016 interview. “This is my medicine.” He hits the city streets well before most Bostonians are awake to get in his morning run. Evans has completed more than 50 marathons, including 20 Bostons.

■ He made his way through the ranks before becoming police commissioner. Evans joined the force as a cadet in 1980 and served as captain of two districts before he was promoted to superintendent.

■ “Our motto is to kill them with kindness.” Evans, then superintendent in charge, was praised by many of the protesters who took part in the relatively peaceful Occupy Boston demonstrations in 2011. “You can talk your way out of anything. We don’t need sticks out. We don’t need helmets on,” he said. Protests in other cities were more violent.

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■ Evans received an honorable mention as the Globe’s Bostonian of the Year in 2015.

■ Evans’ nickname: “Mouse.” It’s a rite of passage; if you grow up in Southie, you’ll acquire a nickname at some point. Evans may be among the city’s top officials, but the name has stuck.


Multiple members of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Sean Smyth can be reached at sean.smyth@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @smythsays.