Members of the commission were offered the chance to probe Perry on his experience and his game plan for building trust in police. Sophomore De’Ivyion Drew asked Perry about UNC’s practice of coordinating the arrival of far-right extremist groups onto campus, including providing them parking.
“I didn't know we were in the valet parking business, but we will get out of it,” he responded. “We’re not here to help people park.”
Perry made it clear that anyone who brought firearms onto campus would be prosecuted and said he plans to set a tone of open-mindedness and communication within his police corp.
“They’re not just here to be a gun-toting, hand-cuffing person,” he said, adding that he valued implicit bias training and putting resources into endeavors that would help his officers build relationships with the community.
“They have to be able to communicate," he said. "They have to be able to express themselves.”
When members of the commission asked Perry to comment on his involvement in the Jameis Winston rape case, Perry mentioned his work on hundreds of sexual assault cases and said he would never deviate from protocol because of Winston’s notoriety.
He said the full story as he knows it hasn't been told.
“I haven't written a book yet,” he joked. “I don't know if I will.”
Perry then moved the conversation into UNC’s handling of sexual assault investigations, which he said was a central focus of his first day.
“One of my high liability concerns is our protocol for sexual assault investigation,” he said.
Perry said after he asked his commanding officers for UNC’s policy on sexual assault investigations, he spent hours revamping them, taking a marker to the document at his house late at night.
Perry’s first major test as chief will be the football game this Saturday against Miami, which will kick off at 8 p.m. and serve as the test run for UNC’s sale of alcohol at Kenan Stadium.
While at FSU, Perry ran operations for Seminoles football games, which can approach 80,000 attendees. He said it wouldn't surprise him if the atmosphere at Saturday night’s game led to some violence, given the late start time, UNC’s week-one performance and the nature of Miami fans.
“They’re not the best fans that I’ve seen in the last 20 years,” he said about the Hurricanes supporters. “They lost their first game. They’re very agitated, and here we are on the upswing.”
With the speculation as to how alcohol sale will affect the game day experience, Perry said he and his department will be preparing.
“I feel like this will be one of the most highly-charged games for UNC in a couple of years,” he said. “It is an interesting recipe. Two hurricanes coming together in half a week.”