Hank Silverberg, wtop.com
WOODBRIDGE, Va. - Prince William County Police Chief Charlie Deane handled some of the biggest crimes in our region during his four decades on the force and his 24 years as its chief.
On Sept. 1, he'll retire.
During his tenure, Deane handled the high profile Lorena Bobbit case in 1993, the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the 2002 sniper attacks and the East Coast Rapist.
Deane says he lost the most sleep during the sniper attacks because it involved ten murders over 20 days.
"I felt like a commander in a war zone," he says. "There was concern about losing your own officers and the people you are charged to protect."
When he first took charge of the department, Prince William County was a sleepy bedroom community where much of the crime was daytime burglaries.
But in 1993, when Lorena Bobbit severed her husband's penis, the county became the focus of worldwide attention.
"It was shocking," says Deane. "Something like that may have happened somewhere in the world before, but it never got that kind of publicity."
Despite all the high profile cases, Deane says the one he will never forget is the one that remains unsolved - a 1978 triple murder at a Dale City realtor's trailer.
"On a Saturday afternoon, someone went in there and shot and killed a 17-year-old girl and two married women."
He says he's still hoping someone will walk into his office and say, "I did it."
Deane has a reputation for remaining calm in a crises, which was evident during the county's debate over illegal immigration in 2007.
He objected to the Prince William Board of Supervisors' decision that ordered officers to check the immigration status of anyone they came in contact with.
Deane worked out a different policy that is now used as a model in many communities.
"No one on any side of this issue is complaining to me today about the fact that we check the immigration status on people after we arrest them."
Deane has a pretty good idea of how he'll spend his time after he retires.
"Probably fishing," he says.
It will be up to the county Board of Supervisors to choose his successor.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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