WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Chief Ralph Evangelous has announced his retirement after more than 15 years serving Wilmington.
The chief will retire on February 1, 2020, according to a press release from the Wilmington Police Department. There’s no word yet on who his replacement will be.
“Evangelous is credited with numerous accomplishments and contributions to this community. Among those include completing the state of the art Police Training Facility to include an indoor shooting range, the downtown Police Headquarters, establishing the southeast Division Headquarters on S. College Road. Chief Evangelous is also responsible for leading the agency’s efforts in reducing Part 1 crime for several consecutive years to include historic lows in 2018 and 2019,” the press release said.
“There is no greater joy than helping people,” Chief Ralph Evangelous said in a press release. “I have been truly honored to serve this great community and hope that my service has helped to make our community better in some way.”
Chief Evangelous began his career in law enforcement nearly 50 years ago in Southborough, MA. He came to Wilmington in 2004 after serving as police chief in Temple, TX for nine years.
District Attorney Ben David was an assistant district attorney when Evangelous came to Wilmington. The two worked closely on criminal cases for 15 years.
“I congratulate Chief Evangelous on his retirement and have appreciated his tireless efforts to reduce crime in the city during his tenure,” David said.
Chief Evangelous is credited with leading the agency’s efforts in reducing crime for several consecutive years to include historic lows in 2018 and 2019.
“I think he can brag that the crime rate is at the lowest in the history of Wilmington today,” David said Tuesday night.
Mayor Bill Saffo applauded Chief Evangelous’ leadership. He said a search for his replacement will begin soon.
“He’s going to be a tough chief to replace, but I feel like the council will come together, we will have a search committee. We will start working on that as soon as possible. It will involve a national search, and a search of candidates in the community." Mayor Saffo said.
According to the press release, the chief plans to remain in the Wilmington area after his retirement.