Fairfax County Police Department

The Fairfax County Police Department, usually abbreviated FCPD, is the police department that serves most of Fairfax County, Virginia.


The Fairfax County Police Department was separated from the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office on July 1, 1940. Carl McIntosh was the first Chief.

The department started out with 5 officers, and had 125 by the time McIntosh retired in 1957. McIntosh was succeeded by William L. Durrer, son of Haywood J. Durrer, who had been Chief while the department was still part of the Sheriff's Office.

On January 17, 1955, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a five-day work week for FCPD officers, beginning July 1.[1]

That same year, Chief McIntosh created the Juvenile Squad, under the command of David R. Eike and the Traffic Squad, under command of Lieutenant Lewis Shumate. He also consolidated the Detective Bureau under Lieutenant Grafton L. Wells, and promoted Marvin Harell, Donald Hurst, and Willard Bennett to the bureau, bringing its total number to 12.[2]

On May 2, 1966, the department opened a substation in a converted home at the intersection of McWhorter Place and Ravensworth Road in Annandale. The new substation was commanded by Lieutenant Olin F. Sanders.[3]

In July 1967, Chief Durrer announced the hiring of the department's first black police officer, 26-year-old Christopher Stokes, who was sworn in on August 1.[4]

The department came under criticism in March 1974 when a report written by Bill G. Evans, a management consultant, described the force as primarily "neighborhood guards and report-takers rather than policemen", and pointed up the department's poor record of solving felony crimes.[5][6]

In response to this report, Chief Durrer proposed a major reorganization which would split the county into two areas, each under the charge of a police major, who would then report to an assistant chief.[7] In all, the chief's plan called for the creation of 24 new middle-management positions in the department.[7] While supported by Fairfax County Executive Robert W. Wilson, the plan was also criticized by Evans as adding unnecessary layers of bureaucracy to the department, and the Board of Supervisors directed Chief Durrer to consult further with Evans.[7]

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a one-year pilot program where patrol officers worked four ten hour shifts instead of the previous plan of seven days on, two days off in January 1980. The program began on February 23.[8]

On November 22, 1982, Chief Buracker, along with Deputy County Executive Richard King and County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert presented a five-part program for the department. One of the most notable components of this program included the creation of a second deputy chief position, splitting the department into administrative and operational divisions.[9]

This program was approved by the BoS and in early 1983 Lt. Col. Alan Barbee became deputy chief of operations, while Lt. Col Thaddeus Hartman became deputy chief of administration.[9]

Michael W. Young came out of retirement to become the chief in June 1992.[10]

Also in 1992, the department moved several of its operations, including the chief's office, public information office, and personnel office, from its Page Avenue headquarters to the Massey Building.[11]

In 1995, the department's Criminal Investigations Bureau under Major Dana Libby expanded its homicide squad from six to twelve officers and added a four-person "cold case" unit, led by Lieutenant Dennis Wilson.[12]

On May 1, 1995, Major M. Douglas Scott was appointed chief.[13]


Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. is the current Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department. There are three deputy Chiefs of Police, Lieutenant Colonels Ted Arnn, Erin F. Schaible, and Tom Ryan, who oversee the investigations/operations support, patrol, and administrative divisions of the department, respectively.

Additionally, Major Michael A. Kline, who heads the department's Internal Affairs Bureau, reports directly to Chief Roessler.

There are eight district stations in addition to the headquarters building in Fairfax. The districts are:

Each district is further broken down into five police service areas (PSA's). For example, the Franconia District Station's PSA's are numbered from 600 to 640. Dulles Airport is considered a PSA and responsibility is shared between the Fair Oaks, Reston, and Sully District Stations.


  1. "Fairfax Police on 5-Day Week After July 1"Evening Star, 18 Jan. 1955, Two Star, p. 23. NewsBank. Accessed 27 Dec. 2017.
  2. "Fairfax Creates Two Police Units." The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959): 26. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Jun 30 1955. Web. 12 Mar. 2012.
  3. "Fairfax County Police to Open New Substation at Annandale." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): P8. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). May 01 1966. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.
  4. "Fairfax County Names First Negro Policeman." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): 1. Jul 15 1967. ProQuest. Web. 13 July 2014.
  5. Nicol, Judy. "Command Structure Ineffective." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): C1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Mar 12 1974. Web. 25 June 2012.
  6. Nicol, Judy. "Parents are Unhappy with Murder Probe." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): C1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Apr 29 1974. Web. 25 June 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Nicol, Judy. "Police Shift Urged for Fairfax." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): C1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1995). Apr 30 1974. Web. 25 June 2012 .
  8. White, Ronald D. "Fairfax Police to Begin Four-Day Workweek." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 1. Jan 10 1980. ProQuest. Web. 8 May 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Courtney, Daniel P. History of the Fairfax County Police Department, 1921-1990. Fairfax, VA: History4All, 2009. Print.
  10. Fountain, John W., and Marylou Tousignant. "Fairfax Chief Who Led Police Over Tough Terrain to Resign." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 2. Feb 22 1995. ProQuest. Web. 21 Sep. 2014.
  11. "IN THE NEWS: Police, Fire Relocate To Chain Bridge Road." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 1. Jul 09 1992. ProQuest. Web. 6 Nov. 2014 .
  12. Davis, Patricia. "Coldest Cases Heat Up." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 2. Feb 02 1995. ProQuest. Web. 8 May 2014.
  13. Lipton, Eric. "New Fairfax Police Chief Praised as a 'Cop's Cop'." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): 1. May 03 1995. ProQuest. Web. 21 Sep. 2014.

External Links