Our business community is grateful to have Lt. Evan Coward as the Commander of the West Asheville Police District.  He is an Asheville native and a graduate of A.C. Reynolds High School and UNC-A. He began his career with the Asheville Police Department in 2006, at the age of 23, and has had numerous titles including night shift Patrol Officer, Community Resource Officer, night shift Patrol Sergeant, and day shift Downtown Unit Sergeant as well as a year and a half as a supervisor of the City/County Joint Narcotics Task Force. He was stationed in the Central Business District of downtown for 12 years where he built his reputation as a trusted and valued member of our APD. Lt Coward believes being on the police force in Asheville is a true calling as our town is at a unique crossroads of rural and urban culture and has to be prepared to handle “city issues”, even in a town our size.  Asheville values being weird, a culture you have to embrace and appreciate to be a successful community leader.

Lt. Coward came to West Asheville in 2019, and has been sincerely impressed by how much pride and ownership WA businesses and residents take of the neighborhood. We strive to collaborate and create partnerships with our police force and work as a team to maintain safety. The officers at the West Asheville District treat each other as family members, and have managed the challenges of serving our community with COVID precautions. One of the most difficult current issues they are facing has been the officer attrition rate, this year alone 50 members of the APD have left for other employment. As a result, they have to devote constant time and energy to training new officers.

One way we can help support our officers is recognizing the staffing challenges they are dealing with and use Online Reporting for non-emergency incidents and crimes that are not currently in progress, occur within the city limits, and do not have an offender know to the reporting party. You can also print or download a copy of police reports from the website at the Police-to-Citizens (P2C) tool.  We should also take every opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of our West Asheville officers when you see them working hard in our community.

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