After more than three decades of service to Fairfax County, Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. has announced his retirement, effective in February.
Roessler has led the 1,400-officer department covering more than 1.2 million residents for the past eight years.
“Chief Roessler has dedicated his life to protecting our community for over 30 years, as a new hire, patrol officer, interim chief, and eventually chief for the past eight years," said Jeffrey McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "I want to thank Chief Roessler for his years of service to Fairfax County and his dedication to protecting our county."
Roessler's tenure hasn't been free of controversy, with some high-profile police shootings and votes of no-confidence from police unions over low morale. But there were many successes and reforms, too.
Hired as a police recruit in 1989, Roessler navigated the sworn ranks and many diverse assignments and served as interim Chief of Police in early 2013 until his appointment as Chief of Police in July of 2013, the agency said in a news release.
Roessler, 57, led the department to national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, while also maintaining state accredited status. The FCPD has been re-accredited by both entities during Chief Roessler’s tenure.
Roessler also led the department through outside review of its use of force policies and community review by the independent Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission.
Upon his appointment, Chief Roessler formed the Chief’s Diversity Council and partnered with community leaders to help form the Communities of Trust Committee to increase public trust and transparency.
During his tenure he prioritized wellness in the community and among the women and men of the FCPD and has worked tirelessly to advance mental health support and resources in the agency.
Chief Roessler also welcomed the addition of an officer-driven, post-traumatic growth K-9 therapy program and he and his wife proudly raised K-9 Indy, who is now in service with the FCPD Peer Team.
Chief Roessler and staff re-organized several investigative bureaus to create the FCPD’s Cyber and Forensics Bureau to meet emerging crime trends and help increase the delivery of justice by solving crimes with new technologies.