Adjust text size

VACP Past President Colonel William L. Durrer passes away

May 17, 2017 | VACP

News Image It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Col. William L. Durrer, retired Fairfax County Chief of Police. Col. Durrer was President of the VACP in 1969-1970.

Col. Durrer passed peacefully in Daleville, VA on May 15, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Ayleen, and by loving family. His grandson, Paul Dooley, is a police officer in Fredericksburg.

Funeral Arrangements

An open memorial service will be held on Wednesday, May 24th, at the Messiah United Methodist Church, 6215 Rolling Rd, West Springfield, VA 22152.  (This is almost across the street from the West Springfield Governmental Center and District Station.)  Church doors will open at 10:00 AM, and the service will be from 10:30 to 11:30.  Following the service there will be a police motor escort from the church to a reception to be held at the Fairfax County Police Association Hall on Popes Head Rd.  

Inurnment (burial) will be on Thursday, the 25th, 11:00 AM, at Mount Comfort Cemetery on South Kings Hwy, in Groveton.  Anyone who would like to attend is welcome.

In lieu of flowers it is requested that donations be made in memory of Chief Durrer to:

'Fairfax County Police Honor Guard'  
3911 Woodburn Rd.
Annandale, VA 22003

Note: The family appreciates the outpouring of support.  It truly means a lot.


In memory of
Colonel William L. Durrer (retired),
Chief of Police, Fairfax County

(Born 1924 • Died 2017)

Following in the footsteps of his father, William L. Durrer served Fairfax County as a law enforcement officer with pride, passion, and integrity for 28 years. A World War II Veteran, Chief Durrer joined the department in 1947. Ten years later, as Fairfax County’s population and economic development exploded, Major Durrer (the highest rank at the time) was appointed Chief of Police. At 35 years old, he was the youngest police chief in the region. With the county expanding so rapidly, Chief Durrer needed a new plan.

Although he later claimed he “didn’t have a plan” and “flew by the seat of his pants,” his history of achievements tells a different story. Too numerous to list, some accomplishments included:

  • the establishment of six sub-stations
  • met his goal of having one officer for every 1,000 residents
  • opened a new state-of-the-art headquarters and instituted innovative technology
  • formed a Community Relations Division and Police Cadet Program
  • formalized and structured the General Orders Manual to maintain consistency in operations and administration

After a lifetime of service to his nation and his county, Chief Durrer retired in January 1975. Sadly, William L. Durrer passed away on May 15, 2017, at his home with his wife, Ayleen, by his side; they had just celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. He is survived by his wife and loving family. Bill, you will be forever missed but never forgotten.