At the helm of the Sully District Station, police Capt. Ed O’Carroll, 43, has a clear view of his priorities.
“I’ve told the squads to support our most valuable asset — our people,” he said. “I care immensely about what the officers need to safely perform their job in the community.”
That’s why O’Carroll’s emphasis is on staffing. “With the continuing growth in this part of the county and the challenges we face with issues such as traffic, I’m also focused on training and equipment — what [the officers] have and what they need,” he added. “I’ll be an advocate for their safety and wellbeing and will also build the strongest bond possible with the community.”
He’s also a strong supporter of the station’s Citizens Advisory Committee and is a staff member and alumni of the Citizens Police Academy. Said O’Carroll: “I truly believe in ensuring that the community recognizes the role and function of law enforcement in society.”
Thefts from homes and vehicles — especially those left unlocked — are the most prevalent offenses in the Sully District. “It’s still an ongoing issue, so that will be a focus of the senior staff and line-level officers, to reduce crime in Sully,” said O’Carroll. “That includes strict enforcement of both traffic and non-traffic offenses, plus the presence of both uniformed and plainclothes officers in the community to curb crime.”
He said the toughest part of his job will be countywide budget reductions leading to cuts in personnel and service. “That’s the biggest challenge we face as a community,” said O’Carroll.
Once he took over the reins at the station, he quickly got up to speed on all the current issues within the station and its personnel at large. He also visited all the local middle and high schools with police Sgt. Bill Fulton — in charge of all the Fairfax County SROs (school resource officers), met the principals and SROs and discussed their issues and concerns, student populations and police response scenarios. Doing so helped re-acclimate O’Carroll, as well as prepare him for his role in any potential, school-related emergencies.
Overall, he said, what will give him the most satisfaction in his job is “to be able to strengthen existing partnerships, create new ones, reach out to those less fortunate and have outreach that expands over cultural divides in the community. I also want to be supportive of survivors and victims of crime while taking care of the residents and the officers — and I’m up for the challenge.”