My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lieutenant Ron Evans. I had the honor and privilege of working for Ron a few years when he was a sergeant at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department.
Officers and prisoners alike called Lt. Evans "Giant" and he was a giant in more ways than just being physically big. Ron did not care much about rank but did take the responsibility of having rank very seriously, a responsibility he never neglected.
Many times I experienced situations that could have resulted in large fights at the jail but just in the nick of time Giant would show up and immediately the situation would become calm again. Usually the way you found out he had come to help was because the cell would get quiet and you would hear a calm measured voice over your shoulder say "Okay, what's the problem?"
I don't ever remember Giant raising his voice; he didn't have too. Ron was an imposing figure but many other qualities stood out, such as patience, integrity and fairness. Fairness is one of the most important qualities a man can have in this line of work and, coupled with his integrity, he had the respect of his men and everyone he worked with.
Ron was always ready to listen and help anyone he could. He helped to shield the people under him from the petty in-house politics that were common at the time. Lt. Evans would support his people when they were right and correct them when they were wrong. Many times he would go against the grain of his superiors when people who had spent a career avoiding contact with the inmates would come up with some unrealistic policy or idea.
Ron came up through the ranks and understood the very complicated workings of corrections. He was a leader, officer, social worker, peacemaker and psychologist in equal measures. It is hard to come up with very many good thoughts about a place that the public doesn't even think about, the good memories I have are of working with true professionals who put people before politics and political correctness, people with morals and integrity, people like Lt. Evans.
The Sheriff's Office needs more leaders like Ron Evans was. Hopefully, there are still a few officers left who his example rubbed off on. Time moves on and things change but through all the tumultuous times Lt. Evans maintained his humanity and his integrity and worked in a place the average person can't fathom, a place the average person would work in for about five minutes.
Giant withstood, the long hours, turmoil, fights (the very few who dared) and stench for 37 years because he was a good man that cared. He was the definition of the big quiet guy with a big heart.
Giant, you will be greatly missed.