Everage earns well-deserved praise

Published 7:51 am Friday, May 13, 2011

“I know of no other man with whom I hold a higher degree of trust.”

That’s high praise coming from Johnny Witherington, president of the Troy City Council.

Those words were spoken of longtime Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage, who announced this week his plans to retire effective Sept. 30. Everage has competently, fairly and ably led the police department for 14 years. During that time he has earned the respect and trust of his peers, the city leaders and the commuinty at large.

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Perhaps that’s why news of his plans to retire was greeted with a mixture of sadness and happiness.

“He will be sorely missed,” Witherington said. “My prayer is that God will bless Anthony and will give him many eyars of healtha nd happiness in his retirement. He has surely earned it.”

Everage’s departure will no doubt leave a void in the Troy Police Department. Although he has worked tirelessly to build and staff a department able to provide a near seamless transition when he leaves, Everage’s personal integrity and his unflappable demeanor are as much a hallmark of his leadership style as they are the key to his successful career as police chief. His mantra of always being honest with everyone – and always doing the right thing, whether it’s popular or not – have been his guideposts throughout nearly 40 years in law enforcement. He has led by example, and whomever is selected to replace him as chief surely will have learned that lesson well.

But the intagible qualities – the ability to diffuse difficult and tense situations; the genuine and deep compassion; the sharp, analytical mind hidden behind an unassuming demeanor – those are assets of a true leader that will be hard to replace.

The role of police chief consumes a man’s time and attention. And it’s one of those jobs in which a lack of attention is a good thing. But this week, like it or not, Anthony Everage has been the focus of much-deserved attention for his quiet, steady and focused work during the past 14 years.

He has done, as Witherington said, “an oustanding job …

“He will be sorely missed.”