LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — In 1972, Reginald Evans was sworn in as the Leesburg Police Department’s first African American officer. He may have retired in 1980, but his family is still serving the LPD.
When Evans passed in 2017, members of the police department supported his family and spoke at his funeral. His daughter-in-law, Kimberely, was so touched by the support that she’s been serving up lunch ever since.
“I am married to Reggie Evans Jr. Known each other since sixth grade,” Ms. Evans said. “[Reggie Sr.] was a phenomenal cook – I mean, the man could cook. So I think he would be so honored at how he was recognized at his passing.”
Ms. Evans is a master in the kitchen, too. She works for Generations Gourmet, a neighborhood catering company, and in her spare time she cooks up a mean barbecue. Her husband and their sons help deliver the meals, and her family friend Tarra Sullivan (a former caterer) is adding her homemade cookies to the mix.
“My husband worked for Leesburg Town Police years ago and he worked with Kim’s father in law, Reggie,” Sullivan said. Her sons are also in law enforcement. “I think it builds morale. I think it just makes them feel appreciated. We need to do that right now.”
“Whether it’s just stopping and saying hello or sharing a cup of coffee with us or even donating lunch or cookies to us, it helps affirm the fact that what they are doing means a lot to our community and makes a difference,” said Public Information Officer Michael Drogin. “We are extremely proud of Reggie’s contribution as the first African American officer, which paved the way for many other firsts.”
In 2016, the Leesburg Police Department appointed its first Black police chief, Gregory Brown. The LPD’s deputy police chief, Major Vanessa Grigsby, is also African American.