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Chief prospects discuss careers

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Perry > Community is strong motivator for candidate

By Arin McKenna

Second of a series

Police chief candidate Donnie Perry, 56, places a strong emphasis on community, and has done his research into what that means in Los Alamos.

“I’ve been impressed with the research I’ve done about the organization, the community,” Perry said. “I haven’t found anything negative about it at all.”

That is not to say that Perry is unaware of recent shakeups in the department.

“Of course, all communities are going to have their crime situations, and will have personnel problems, but those are situations that I think can be addressed rapidly with collaborations and partnerships and teaming with other agencies,” Perry said.

Perry believes his teaching skills would be an important asset in restructuring the department. Perry has been an affiliate professor at Regis University since 2008. He also helped to develop, coordinate and implement a training curriculum for community based policing for the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute.

As a lieutenant in the City of Greenwood Village, Colo., police department, Perry redefined training and performance standards.

“I completely took it apart, redid it and focused on the things that were important to the community,” Perry said. “I think one of the things you have to do is evaluate the community and see what’s important, so we were able to make needed changes, not change just for the sake of making change.”

Although Perry is currently an administrator in the law enforcement section of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles, most of his career was in Greenwood’s police department. Perry started in 1988 and worked his way up through the ranks to become police chief, a position he held from 2005–2010.

Perry’s resume states that he “set a new vision and direction for the agency,” which included a comprehensive review of processes and policies, instituting a new mission and reorganizing the department. He championed and directed a Continuous Improvement Committee, based on employee empowerment, consensus-building and progressive leadership.

Perry also facilitated the transition from a traditional style of policing to a performance-based system that minimized use of department resources, and, “dramatically improved police services.”

Perry’s accomplishments in Greenwood include implementing several successful crime prevention strategies. He created an Emergency Services component with disaster management and emergency planning. He led the department’s participation as a core partner in the Colorado Information Sharing Consortium, implemented a Terrorism Liaison Officer program and served as an executive member of the Arapahoe County E-911 Emergency Service Authority.

Perry has a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in California, where he majored in security studies with a minor in homeland security and defense. He also holds an M.S. degree in Management from Regis University in Colorado. His bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology is from the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Perry’s professional development includes the F.B.I. Southwest Command College Executive Training and leadership program at Northwest University Center for Public safety and the Senior Management Institute for Police.
Perry believes that his approach toward police work is a perfect fit for Los Alamos.

“The philosophy matched mine perfectly, in terms of partnership with the community. Partnerships are a lot of what I’m about,” Perry said. “I spent my career, half my life, focusing on public service and in order to do that we have to build partnerships. And we do that both internally and externally: within the organization, the police department, within the county government and a lot of businesses.”

Perry and his wife also think Los Alamos is the perfect match for them.

“When you talk about relocating and where you want to be as a family and assimilate into the community, it’s important to talk about the quality of life that the community has, both from the community’s perspective and from our perspective when we look at things,” Perry said. “And we thought that this was probably one of the greatest opportunities that’s ever going to come along.”