Evans sworn in as commissioner, vows more walking beats

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In his 33 years at the Boston Police Department, William Evans never vied for the rumpled suit of the homicide detective or the worn jeans of the gang unit officer.

He was always happiest answering 911 calls and beating the street in the standard-issue uniform worn by patrol officers.

“I just like being where the action is,” Evans said in an interview Friday afternoon, moments after Mayor Martin Walsh swore him in as the department’s 41st commissioner.

As Evans prepares to place his own stamp on the department, the uniformed officer will play a central role in his strategy for fighting violence in Boston, where the rate of major crimes has steadily dropped but where shootings remain high and guns prevalent in some neighborhoods.

Evans, 55, said one of his top priorities will be to put more walking beats on the street, an idea pushed by his predecessor Commissioner Edward F. Davis, who created teams of officers who were assigned to patrol the city’s toughest neighborhoods on foot.

But Evans said he wants even more officers from the city’s 11 districts outside of their cruisers and talking to neighbors and business owners.

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