Perry Perkins, candidate for Hamilton County Commission District 7, met with local law enforcement Tuesday to get direction on the recent spree of crimes in the East Hamilton area.
Mr. Perkins said there is a need to be more proactive about the safety of the community and has developed a plan. A former volunteer probation officer, reserve deputy, and D.A.R.E. program fundraiser, Mr. Perkins proposed several measures to reduce property crime:
Create and support neighborhood watch programs. The most effective way to prevent property crime is to know your neighbors and be able to identify suspicious activity.
Document personal property. Citizens should record serial numbers and take pictures of their property. Televisions, computers, and other valuables can be engraved with the owner's driver’s license state and number to prevent items from being sold to pawn brokers. Pawn brokers are required by law to record a seller's license number.
Provide law enforcement with sufficient resources and staffing to maintain the peace. The prevention and investigation of crime is labor-intensive, and local law enforcement agencies are currently understaffed.
Most importantly, give young people economic opportunities before they choose criminal life.
Mr. Perkins said, "If you want to prevent crime, we must build good citizens through public education and community support. If that fails, then we turn to law enforcement."
Noting that law enforcement was stretched too thin already, Mr. Perkins said, "we have it in ourselves to better our community policing programs, to watch each other's back and to become better neighbors."
Mr. Perkins will run for the Republican nomination in the primary election on May 6. The current Commissioner for the district, Larry Henry, is running for Circuit Court Clerk.
Mr. Perkins is a graduate of Tyner High School and UTC. He is a fourth-generation home painter. He began working in his grandfather's painting business in 1974, and in 2005 started his own residential painting business, Perry's Painting, Inc. Mr. Perkins served as a reserve deputy with Hamilton County from 1978-1982 and from 2006-2011 as well as with the city of East Ridge from 1982-1987. An active member of the Alhambra Shriners, Mr. Perkins has been an associate member of the board of the Shriners Children's Hospital in Lexington, Ky. since January 2010. He also works with the Hamilton Family YMCA and served as a board member from 2006-2008. From 1992-2004, he chaired the Fundraising and Activities board for the Fraternal Order of Eagles, helping raise money for the local Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. Mr. Perkins resides in Apison with his wife, Monica.