The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

New Police Chief has Vision for a Safer UMW Campus

3 min read


Since joining the UMW police department on July 12, Police Chief Eddie Perry has already developed a three-tier plan to keep UMW and UMW students safe.

Perry wants to increase the usage of Operation I.D., which is a national program that allows law enforcement to detect, identify and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner.

According to Operation I.D.’s website, the program involves marking or engraving property with an identifying number, ideally a driver’s license number, and displaying a window decal to discourage burglary or theft.

Perry said that when marked, the identifying number can be written in invisible ink or engraved in the object.

“The invisible ink would usually be for electronics, while engraving would be for hard service valuables,” Perry said.

As a result of the rise in the bike population on campus, Perry wants to increase bike registration.

“Students will register bikes with police just as they would with their cars,” he said.

Perry hopes Operation I.D. and bike registration will help decrease rates of larceny.

“These programs address opportunity and recovery,” he said. “None of the programs are absolute. [The programs] serve as preventative measures to reduce risk.”

Perry also wants to increase drug and alcohol abuse awareness education programs. The police are working hand-in-hand with the Judicial Review Board and the Honor Council about these programs, according to Perry.

To address the issue of personal safety, Perry wants to increase the awareness of Rape Aggression Defense program (RAD).

RAD is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women, according to the program’s website. It teaches awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance.

According to Susan Knick, assistant vice president for public safety, Perry’s program initiatives were instrumental in his hiring.

“[UMW] actively sought out a chief that was experienced and could put that experience to best use at UMW for the safety and well-being of our entire community,” Knick said in an e-mail.

Knick finds Perry to be a quality leader, she said in the e-mail. He has a clear vision of how he wants to model the UMW police department and is able to clearly articulate that vision.

Along with serving as police chief, Perry also serves as Secretary for the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

Before working at UMW, Perry served as police chief of Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton Roads. He also served as officer, sergeant and lieutenant at Virginia State University in Petersburg. Perry has been a Virginia state employee for 15 years.

Junior John Maguire, a campus police volunteer who aids with escorts and locking up academic buildings, said Perry is a good fit for this position.

“Chief Perry won’t get overwhelmed,” Maguire said. “He knows how to handle himself, no matter what situation he is in.”

“UMW is fortunate to have a person of Chief Perry’s qualifications join our staff,” Knick said in an e-mail. “Beyond his technical expertise and personal education, he is extremely well-respected by his peers.”

According to Knick, he is an excellent communicator and is fully dedicated to his job and his profession. Perry shows great creativity in applying his knowledge and skills to benefit UMW.

Follow me on Twitter