PERRY, Ga. — Longtime Officer Alan Everidge has been named the new police chief for the City of Perry. Everidge retired from the Houston County Sheriff's Office just months before stepping into the role in Perry as interim chief.
Everidge has raised his family in Perry. For him, stepping into this role means prioritizing safety. He wants folks to be safe where they live, work, and play.
"Growing up in this town where I know Perry, I know what people think, I know the beliefs in this community," Everidge said.
Perry isn't the only place Everidge has deep roots. He also has a long history in law enforcement. In 1987 before working in Perry, Everidge served in the patrol and traffic divisions with the Houston County Sheriff's Office. He also worked as an investigator in the juvenile and criminal investigations divisions.
"Opportunities to see to work with people from different agencies, and to deal with different kind of cases, I think, helps prepare me to understand what we do well what we can do better," Everidge said.
That's why he believes forming a bond with the community matters.
"It's a partnership -- we are part of the community and the community is the police," Everidge said.
Everidge joined the Perry Police Department as a patrol commander in 2021, and then became interim police chief in July 2022.
Everidge says his three main goals are to first address mental health with a faster and better response.
"That number continues to climb, so how do we deal with that to the best of our ability?" Everidge said.
Second is to help deter young people from crime.
"We want to try to educate early and build relationships at a young age, not wait till middle school or high school. That may be reading to kids in elementary school or going to have lunch in the elementary school, just so they see us as their friend, not their enemy," Everidge said.
Lastly, Everidge wants to tackle drug overdoses.
"It's a multifaceted attack. Number one, you got to keep them from using in the first place. Criminal enforcement for those out here putting the poison on the street," Everidge said, and because we live in such a tech-savvy world, he looks at technology as a tool to better help officers do their job.
"How can we use it to provide the best service to this community?" Everidge said.
Everidge says by spring 2023, they hope to implement crime prevention cameras. In May, President Joe Biden appointed Perry's former police chief Steve Lynn as U.S. marshal.