Assistant Chief Debbie Perry has been named the interim chief of the UT Police Department. Perry replaces former Chief August Washington, who has been named the new chief of police and assistant vice chancellor for Vanderbilt University and will serve his last day at UT on July 24.
Perry has more than 27 years of law enforcement experience and has been with UT for more than 29 years. She currently manages more than 100 law enforcement and security personnel for the UT Knoxville campus.
Perry began her career with the UTPD as a complaint processor for the communication section. She became a patrol officer and later worked for several years as an investigator in the detective section.
Perry left UTPD briefly for three years in 1990 to work for the United Stated Office of Personnel Management conducting federal background checks for security clearance positions. She returned to UT as a supervisor for Parking Services in 1993. In 1995 she returned to UTPD and was promoted to assistant chief of police in 1997.