By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Of all the people he has pulled over for speeding, one woman stands out in the mind of Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R). It's not that she was going especially fast, Evans said. She just had a sarcastic tongue and a personal connection with his family.
"The last time I got a ticket, it was from your father," the woman told Calvert's top lawman. "I can't wait till you have a son."
In fact, Evans has two, both troopers at the Maryland State Police barracks in Leonardtown. And Eric, 26, and Charlie Evans, 24, have busted their share of criminals, shoring up the Evanses' reputation as one of Southern Maryland's best-known law enforcement families.
"It's a calling," Mike Evans said. "You got to want to be a police officer to do the job."
Undoubtedly, Eric and Charlie said, they wanted to be police officers.
Growing up, the two went "everywhere" in a police car, Charlie said. Their dad was coach of all the boys' sports teams, he said, and they rode in his cruiser to and from practice.
When the time came to choose a career, it seemed only natural to be a police officer, Eric said, and he and his younger brother didn't consider any other careers.
"You look up to your father, I guess, your parents," Eric said. "Dad would've supported us in really anything we did."
But somehow, the boys became mirror images of their dad, donning military-style crew cuts (the men use the same barber) and trying to work their way through the ranks of the state police.
Mike Evans, who was elected Calvert's sheriff in 2002, started his career as a state trooper and retired in 1995 because of complications from knee surgery. His sons chose the same route because of the state police's rigorous academy, he said. Their grandfather, Ted Evans, was a state trooper who reached the rank of lieutenant colonel before he retired.
Neither son has aspirations of becoming Calvert's sheriff; they said they prefer to work in a county where not everybody knows their father. Besides, Eric said jokingly, "the state police are better than the sheriff's office. . . . Who locks up more drunks?"
That, Mike Evans said, would be dad, who made 94 DUI arrests as a trooper in 1982. His sons have yet to come close to the mark. Eric, the record-holder in Leonardtown for four years, has managed an annual high of 67. His brother had his record high of 55 last year.
Mike Evans's wife, Susan, is also involved in law enforcement, doing office work at the Calvert jail. She has a tough time "getting a word in edgewise at dinner," she said, but she is proud of her sons.
And as for the dangers they face?
"I worry a little bit," she said. "I am a mom."
For their part, Charlie and Eric assure their mom that they work out frequently to "stay in great shape," and when they work the same shift (a rarity, mom said), they back each other up on traffic stops. Their name tags both read simply "Evans."
Charlie, who is engaged, lives with his parents in St. Leonard, and Eric lives with his wife in Wildewood. Both couples have a child on the way. Much to Susan's delight, Charlie's is a girl.
But nobody is saying she won't be a cop, too.