Rex Evans grew up around public servants. His grandfather with the Houston Fire Department. His father Jay Evans worked with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for many years. He then went on as an Investigator with the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office. Many may remember to old 1970’s and 80’s news footage where you always saw the investigator in the white cowboy hat. That was Jay Evans. He later went on to the Houston Fire Department and was Chief for the Houston Volunteer Fire Department which many people do not realize exists to this day. He left when he took the position with the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office as Chief and has since returned to the Houston Fire Department as a Public Information Officer. His father is dedicated to Public Safety and does not plan on retirement until his time and his father’s time is equal to 100 years.
Rex is no different. He was with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office before coming on with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office as a Captain. He remained there until he was hired by Cleveland ISD as Chief for their Police Department. He is also a firefighter and many see him on fires with the Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department.
In March of 2010 Evans and Deputy Marcantel responded to a call in the Woodland Hills Subdivision in Liberty County. The disturbance had escalated and as they arrived both deputies were struck by a 12- gauge shotgun blast. Both were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by ambulance as the fog prevented Air Medical from flying. Evans was treated for a pellet above his eye and one in his hand. The suspect died of a self -inflicted gunshot wound.
In September of 2011 Evans was in command and was able to get multiple agencies together when two young boys went missing in the woods about 10 miles south of Dayton. After searching for hours two deputies found the boys deep in the woods too exhausted to continue. Night has set in and a DPS helicopter was dispatched to the area. Unable to assist, Evans called in the Coast Guard who responded with a helicopter and a swimmer. After a short-time they were able to locate the deputy with the children and attempted an extrication. Due to rotor wash it was impossible so water, food, a radio and light sticks to the trio. Evans had two local fire departments on standby who with them and a deputy entered the pitch black woods and located the children and the deputy who was with them and brought them out.
In February of 2012 Evans along with Sgt. Bortz and Sgt. Koen were all pinned behind a vehicle as they used a PA system to try and talk Kevin Boney, an armed Texas Militia member into surrendering. 34-year-old Kevin Boney and his wife were arguing at their house on CR 2134, one-mile south of FM 787 in far northeast Liberty County when he took a shot at her. She left the house, running up the road, and met the Hardin ISD school bus carrying their two children and another child. Boney followed, wearing body armor and carrying an SKS assault rifle. Seeing this the Hardin ISD bus driver called 911. Boney turned and ran back to his house. He then gathered multiple weapons, including one with an automatic barrel bullet feeder, suited up in body armor including a helmet with the words “Swamp Thang,” and ran about 250 yards into a pasture as deputies began to move toward the house. Boney took position behind a log in a low-lying area with heavy grass and weeds where he had a good vantage point to take aim at officers, but they could not easily see him. Boney claimed to be part of the Texas Militia and told deputies they had “no authority” over him and he had “the right to kill” them. The Sheriff’s Office was eventually able to talk Boney into surrendering after about an hour. He first stood up and dropped one weapon, but held onto another as he started toward the mobile home where he lived. Boney eventually surrendered all weapons but remained combative as he was arrested.
In March 2012 Evans commanded the search for Dennis Rogers in the Plum Grove area after he walked off into the woods and became lost. A phone call made to Cleveland Police was able to give searchers a pinpoint on where in the 800 plus acres of land he was. The search began after 10pm on a rainy night. Searchers braved the weather and hunted for Roger’s in very poor conditions. The biggest hindrance was all the mud and water forcing a foot search. For the next several days the search continued. Evans brought in agencies from around the area and organized citizens to assist. The search was finally called after conditions worsened and started putting rescuers lives on the line.
Water in the bayous running through the search area is moving at about 30 miles per hour. The large amount of rain has caused so much water to drain onto the trails and roadways they are now waterways. Multiple vehicles have become stuck, including ATV’s.
A couple of searchers who were on foot have had to be rescued from quicksand using cables, and there have been several minor injuries. One searcher fell off of a 4-wheeler, another fell off a horse and there have been several twisted ankles. A couple of cases of trench foot have already been discovered from prolonged exposure to mud and water. Rogers was never found.
Then just 10 days later, once again Evans commanded the search for little red headed Devon who vanished from his family’s home. He was able to once again bring several organizations together for the search which continued for several days. Evans, stayed on the scene and in command for over 24-hours with no sleep. He was able to bring tracking dogs in from as far away as College Station, Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables and the Houston Police Department. The area along the Trinity River was very low with swamp land and alligators moving freely. Evan’s refused to give up and could be seen several time walking off into an area for some quiet time to regain his thoughts. That spot turned out to be a spot Evans went to again after several days of searching. A DPS helicopter was ordered to use its rotor wash to clear a pond of green slime. As they did, little
Devon was spotted. Evans’ was heartbroken as he has tried so hard to find the young child and never giving up hope that he was alive.
Evans left Liberty County Sheriff’s Office later that year as he was brought on by Cleveland ISD as their Chief of Police. He moved right into that position and went right to work on trying to make it one of the best departments around.
In November 2012 The 100 Club of Houston generously awarded the Cleveland ISD Police Department with a $52,000 grant. The money was used to purchase safety and radio equipment for the CISD officers. Chief Rex Evans applied for the funding to replace outdated body armor as well as Dual-Band Motorola radios that will be used for inter-agency communication. Then just a month later he asked local community members to help fund a drug dog for the school district. It wasn’t long before the community answered his call. Julien, a 4-year old Belgian Malinois Drug Detection Canine was purchased and started working for the department.
Ø Mr. Alfred Anderson (Anderson Ford) – donated Drug Detection Canine, Julian;
Ø Ray Parris (Smith Towing) – donated $300.00 for tinting to help protect Julian from the heat / elements;
Ø Zach Stevenson (Big Thicket Veterinary Clinic) – donated veterinary care for the lifetime of Julian (as long as Cleveland ISD owns him);
Ø Robert Howell (Circle H Feed in Cleveland) – donated high-protein dog food for lifetime of Julian (as long as Cleveland ISD owns him);
Ø Texas Department of Public Safety – donated patrol car dog protection cage.
In March of 2013 Evans organized an active shooters training session at the Cleveland High School. Inviting any officer who would like to participate. He and his staff were able to utilize some ROTC students and staged a situation in which a shooter was reported in the school. The officers were tasked with getting the students and staff to safety and quashing the shooter. The school went over very well with the many agencies that attended. Once again using his contacts from years of law enforcement to bring equipment and knowledge together to make the training a success.
It was such a success that the school was put on again in August of 2014.
Then one year later, in August of 2015 Evans was once again able to call on the many people he knew in public safety and put on a very successful disaster drill at the Cleveland High School. Once again using students. After 6 months of weekly planning meetings the day came for the drill. Once again many learned what to do and not do and how to safely get the children and staff out of the hazardous area. It started early one morning just after 8am fire alarms started sounding in the school. The source was the chemistry lab where it was reported some students made an acid bomb which exploded in a glass beaker. The school was cleared and Cleveland Fire Department was dispatched along with Cleveland EMS. Close to 20 students lay both conscious and unconscious in the Chemistry Lab as smoke filled the room. One student wondered why all the students were cleared out of the school and they were left behind. A teacher who was part of the drill and also a victim in the classroom explained that they were all contaminated and if the classroom door was opened the potential of contaminating the entire student body. Cleveland firefighters were outside the room within minutes. However, not knowing what chemical they were dealing with they contacted Harris County Hazardous Materials Team located at the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office on Atascocita. Many first responders felt almost useless as they were forced to stand by waiting on the HazMat Team to arrive. Ambulances were called in, Life Flight and PHI Air Medical were dispatched to the scene. Houston North East and Conroe Regional Hospitals were alerted to a potential large number of patients arriving. A DECON tent was set up to wash victims down as they were evacuated from the classroom. Firefighters from Cleveland and Porter Fire Departments suited up in HAZMAT suits along with air packs. Using plastic sleds which Porter Fire Department carried on their trucks they started evacuating students. The first walking wounded were brought down and immediately put through the decontamination booth. As they exited they were scanned for any residual hazardous components.
After all the years serving the public Evans decided he wanted to serve in a higher capacity as the Sheriff of Liberty County. He has not slowed down yet in his efforts. Working during the day as Chief of Cleveland ISD Police he spends most of his evenings and weekends meeting with residents of Liberty County. During this time not only is he able to introduce himself, but also hear the concerns of the citizens, not just the voters. As with every other position he has ever held he thrives to exceed. Those thoughts and comments of the citizens are duly noted and he has most likely already set a plan of action to address the concerns.
EVANS AFTER TEXAS MILITIA MEMBER IS TAKEN DOWN ALONG WITH SEIZED EQUIPMENT
EVANS AND STAFF AFTER RECEIVING CHECK FROM 100 CLUB
FUNERAL FOR LITTLE DEVON DAVIS-CASKET CARRIED BY TEXAS RANGERS
EVANS WITH FAMILY OF LITTLE DEVON DAVIS JUST AFTER HE WAS RECOVERED
EVANS AND TIM WITH EQUUSEARCH EMBRACE AS TEARS FLOW AFTER FINDING DEVON DAVIS