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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has appointed a new Fairfax County Police Chief.

Lt. Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr., who has served as acting police chief since March 23, was officially appointed chief by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning.

The police chief position became vacant in October 2012 when former chief David M. Rohrer was promoted to the position of deputy county executive for public safety. A Centreville resident, Roessler will receive an annual salary of $188,410 as the county’s top cop.

“I am pleased to name Ed Roessler as Fairfax County’s new police chief,” Chairman Sharon Bulova said. “Not only has he performed exceptionally well in his role as acting police chief, but he also possesses a wide range and depth of experience gathered over his 24-year tenure in law enforcement.”

Roessler began his law enforcement career with the New York City Department of Investigation before joining the Fairfax County Police Department as a patrol officer on July 17, 1989. “This is the Cadillac of police agencies throughout the nation,” Roessler said of the Fairfax County Police Department on Tuesday. “It’s an honor to keep serving the place where I live.”

Roessler previously served as deputy chief of patrol, managing crime fighting efforts across eight district stations in addition to managing the Animal Services Division. Serving as deputy chief, he managed police emergency responses to a variety of natural disasters and tactical operational events, deployed personnel to the recent Presidential Inauguration and managed patrol assets committed to solving several multijurisdictional crimes. Roessler also directed strategic planning initiatives for the department to ensure a high standard of service delivery as future infrastructure growth is planned in many communities throughout Fairfax County.

Roessler has served in every rank up to and including deputy chief.

Prior senior command assignments have included the Internal Affairs Bureau, director of the Criminal Justice Academy, managing the department’s budget and human resources and leading a Patrol Bureau division that included the Animal Services Division, the Crime Analysis Unit and the construction of the Sully District Station. In addition to these command assignments, he led efforts that created the Incident Support Services program serving department members and their families, the Athletic Trainer Coordinator program and several other innovative employee support service programs. “I have known Ed Roessler since he was the assistant commander at the Mason station more than a decade ago,” said Fairfax County Supervisor Penny Gross (Mason District) on Tuesday.

With the appointment of Roessler, the board of supervisors did not break from its 73-year-old tradition of hiring from within the police department, although outside candidates were considered. “We did an extensive search,” said Gross. “The board interviewed several candidates.”

As chief, Roessler said he plans on addressing diversity within the department. “If we’re going to grow vertical, we’re going to have to change the style of policing,” he said. He said he plans to establish a “chief’s council of diversity in the community,” stressing that he wants to work community leaders of diverse backgrounds to create more engagement between those communities and the police, “Not only for recruitment, but to have a more robust engagement.”

Roessler received his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and his graduate degree from the George Washington University. During his career he also has graduated from a variety of professional development programs including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute and National Academy, American University’s Key Executive Graduate Program, the United States Military Academy West Point Leadership Program and Leadership Fairfax. Roessler’s professional affiliations include the Police Executive Research Forum, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Human Resource Committee, FBI National Academy Associates and the Society for Human Resource Managers.

gmacdonald@fairfaxtimes.com