Bremerton WSP communications officer retires after 37 years
Washington State University alum Larry Evans is enjoying his 65th birthday and impending retirement in style.
“I heard that everyone around here (Washington State Patrol office) will wear WSU Cougar colors, which is good,” he said. “That’s very good.”
Evans retires today after more than 37 years with WSP as a communications officer — 27 of which were spent in Bremerton.
The Gig Harbor man began his career with WSP in 1972 as a communications officer in Everett.
Evans received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from WSU in 1966, then served in the Peace Corps for two years in south India working in poultry nutrition. He served in the Army as a communications specialist from 1968 to 1971.
After he left the Army, Evans saw a job posting for a WSP communications position. He applied, took the test and was offered a job in Everett.
“It just seemed to fit,” Evans said. “I knew I wanted to do something with the public.”
When Evans began his career, there were no computers. He sat behind a console with a boom mike, a telephone and a mechanical teletype terminal. He used a pencil and pad of paper to take 911 calls.
“Now the computer is just so much more efficient,” Evans said.
Evans received a promotion and transferred to Bremerton in 1982, where he moved up the ranks and most recently served as a communications supervisor.
Evans said he’s enjoyed his time as a communications officer and likes the responsibility of helping people in distress.
“You have to get here and be the lifeline on the phone and radio,” he said. “It’s a big job. It’s a 24/7 operation.”
The job offers something different every day as well. Evans said each call is different and, in the winter months, the call volume increases.
“In icy weather, that’s just a whole different ball game,” Evans said.
Evans said he’ll miss his co-workers and helping people who call 911, but he’s looking forward to retirement.
His wife of 38 years, Candee, retired three years ago from teaching speech therapy in public schools and now works part-time at Belfair Elementary School.
The couple has two children, a son and daughter, and Evans is looking forward to traveling to Southern California for his daughter’s wedding next year. He and his wife also may travel and go on a cruise.
“This job’s been very good to me,” Evans said. “I never regretted it.”