Retired deputy county executive hailed as role model | news/fairfax

On Jan. 25, Fairfax County supervisors sang the praises of David Rohrer, a former police chief who capped off his 41-year career as the county’s deputy director for public safety.

Rohrer was a role model and his Jan. 24 retirement was “a sad day for many of us,” chairman Jeff McKay (D) said.

“We have a great team here and a lot of it is based on things you’ve done for many years in Fairfax County,” McKay told Rohrer. “It must be a hell of a feeling not to be on time, for once, 24/7.”

Rohrer “led the department through change, challenge and tragedy, supporting his officers and embracing the future of policing through technology and training,” according to the board resolution, which passed at the unanimously and with enthusiasm. He was respected by the community and known for his desire to hear and engage with residents, the resolution reads.

Rohrer began working for the county in 1980 as a patrolman with the police department. In 32 years with the agency, he rose through the ranks, was named chief in 2004 and resigned in October 2012 following his promotion to assistant county manager.

In this role, Rohrer oversaw the Fairfax County Police Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Public Safety Communications Department, Office of Emergency Management, Animal Shelter and Disaster Center. McConnell public safety and transportation operations.

Rohrer provided “constant and insightful leadership” during major snowstorms, changes and reforms in various departments and the construction of the new public security headquarters, according to the resolution.

“Rohrer’s consistent presence, professionalism and insight have made him an invaluable member of the Fairfax County team,” it read.

Supervisor Rodney Lusk (D-Lee), who chairs the council’s public safety committee, said he appreciates Rohrer’s dedication and care, as evidenced by the Diversion First program, as well as his insight and guidance. .

Lusk also thanked Rohrer for taking on the role of acting police chief between the time Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. retired and new police chief Kevin Davis came on board.

Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) praised Rohrer for his preparation and “extraordinary talent.”

“I really appreciate how intense, thorough, responsive you can be,” Foust said. “Whether it’s a county-wide issue or just a very specific precinct issue, you’ve always thought about it and provided the best advice.”

Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) thanked Rohrer for moving staff out of the decrepit (and since demolished) Massey Building in Fairfax and into a much better working environment at the new Public Safety Headquarters.

Rohrer was dedicated to Fairfax County as an institution, but not committed to the status quo, and had made a powerful contribution to the professional culture of county government, Supervisor James Walkinshaw (D-Braddock) said. Rohrer also served well on the Council to End Domestic Violence, he added.

“I think your career is a testament to the nobility of public service,” Walkinshaw said.

Rohrer was police chief when a gunman killed County Police Detective Vicky Armel and Senior Police Officer Michael Garbarino at Sully District Station in May 2006. Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully) thanked Rohrer for attending the annual commemorations of this tragedy.

Supervisor Daniel Storck (D-Mount Vernon) said Rohrer navigated a long-term view, set a steady course and communicated effectively with supervisors.

Supervisor Penelope Gross (D-Mason), the only current board member to have interviewed Rohrer for the police chief job, called her selection “an excellent choice.”

“I think you brought a bit of humanity to this post,” Gross said.

Rohrer thanked council members for their remarks and investment in public safety. He also expressed appreciation for County Executive Bryan Hill and other colleagues in county leadership, but reserved the most praise for public safety personnel.

“They do an amazing, amazing job,” he said.

When talking to new hires, Rohrer said he used to point out what had changed in the county (for example, its population, which had doubled since the start of his career) and what hadn’t. not changed: the quality, dedication and professionalism of county employees.

“We see heroism, we see duty, but it’s benevolence, it’s compassion and empathy in all the women and men who serve Fairfax County – not just in public safety, but in so many agencies,” he said.

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Rebecca R. Santistevan