Change of scenery for of­fi­cer Perry

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Aon long-time fa­mil­iar face

the streets of Horsham and Wim­mera roads will soon be­come just as fa­mil­iar in the small ham­let of Har­row.

If his­tory is any gauge, po­lice of­fi­cer Alan Perry, 60, pack­ing his bags with wife Julie and head­ing to the re­gion’s south­west, will quickly em­brace and get in­volved with his new com­mu­nity.

Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Perry has been a face of the Horsham con­stab­u­lary since 1980, but his com­mu­nity con­nec­tions have for many years ex­panded well beyond emer­gency and en­force­ment ser­vices.

Many peo­ple recog­nise him as much for his vol­un­teer roles in sup­port ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing football, schools and char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions.

For ex­am­ple, while pre­par­ing for his Septem­ber 4 start at the Har­row sta­tion, Sen Const Perry had to work around his in­volve­ment with Va­ri­ety Bash Car 113 Min­ions team as part of a money-rais­ing ef­fort for dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren.

He is a life-mem­ber of Horsham Saints Football Net­ball Club, hav­ing spent six years as pres­i­dent after join­ing then St Michaels in 1993, and has been a part of and led par­ent rep­re­sen­ta­tive groups at Ss Michael and John’s Pri­mary School and St Brigid’s Col­lege.

Sen Const Perry said he was mak­ing the move to Har­row, re­plac­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Lisa Lorenz who has trans­ferred to Tangam­balanga, for a change in ca­reer di­rec­tion.

“After 26 years of high­way pa­trol I thought it was time to make the move to help peo­ple in a smaller com­mu­nity,” he said.

“I’m keen to quickly be­come part of the com­mu­nity and to con­tinue to de­velop a sense of con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween peo­ple and po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices as well as pro­vide peo­ple with se­cu­rity.”

Sen Const Perry was orig­i­nally from a Caster­ton district farm and after fin­ish­ing sec­ondary school joined the po­lice cadets and un­der­went train­ing at the po­lice academy.

He then spent six years as an of­fi­cer in Mel­bourne be­fore trans­fer­ring to Horsham in 1980, where he met his wife and set­tled into fam­ily life as the cou­ple raised four chil­dren.

Sen Const Perry said since ar­riv­ing in Horsham he had seen many changes in laws, en­force­ment and com­mu­nity ex­pec­ta­tions.

“Much of my back­ground has been in traf­fic and there have been many changes in law in re­la­tion to drink and drug-driv­ing, speed and gen­eral traf­fic-re­lated mat­ters,” he said.

“For ex­am­ple, we’ve seen an im­por­tant evo­lu­tion in com­mu­nity re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and per­cep­tions in­volv­ing drink-driv­ing. In 1980 there was a wide­spread blasé ap­proach to drink-driv­ing for what is now con­sid­ered se­ri­ous crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

Sen Const Perry said as a re­sult of ever-chang­ing society sen­si­bil­i­ties, the role of po­lice was also con­stantly evolv­ing to meet ex­pec­ta­tions.

“This has ex­panded into ar­eas such as fam­ily law and adapt­ing to tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments such as the on­set of so­cial me­dia,” he said.

“Polic­ing is cer­tainly dif­fer­ent now to what it was when I joined the force in 1974. But in say­ing that, the role fun­da­men­tally re­mains the same. Our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in keep­ing peo­ple safe, whether it is on the roads, in schools, in play­grounds, on the streets – any com­mu­nity cir­cum­stance – never changes.

“Julie and I are really look­ing for­ward to the move to Har­row and to start­ing a new chap­ter in our lives.”

NEW HORI­ZON: Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Alan Perry will shift camp from Horsham to Har­row. Pic­ture: PAUL CAR­RACHER

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