After more than 17 years of serving our community, North Richland Hills' Police Chief and Director of Public Safety is retiring.
Chief Jimmy Perdue has been in public service for over 40 years, just short of 18 of them serving as the North Richland Hills Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety. The community is invited to join in his retirement reception on Wednesday, May 24, in the Grand Hall at the NRH Centre, 6000 Hawk Ave. A public meet and greet will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a ceremony and remarks at 3 p.m.
Mr. Perdue was born and raised in West Texas, where his dad was a Southern Baptist preacher. At the age of 21, he decided he wanted to be a police officer and began his law enforcement career at the Irving Police Department in 1982. Jimmy met his wife, Rhonda, during his time in Irving, and they were married in 1985. They have three children and two grandchildren. While at Irving Police Department, he served in many roles across the agency, concluding as Assistant Chief of Police over the Field Operations and Investigative Services Bureaus. In 2005, Perdue was appointed to Chief of Police for the North Richland Hills Police Department and promoted to Director of Public Safety a few short years later in 2008.
During his time with NRH, Mr. Perdue has continuously supervised the Police department as Chief while providing direct supervision to the Fire, Emergency Management, Fleet, Facilities, Neighborhood Services, Municipal Court, and Economic Development departments over the years. He led the city’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, multiple weather events, including winter storm Uri, and guided the organization through the tumultuous social unrest period during 2020. Under Chief Perdue's leadership, the NRH Police Department earned "Recognized Status" from the Texas Police Chiefs Association Foundation Best Practices Recognition Program in 2011. The department continues to maintain this status year after year.
The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program was established in 2008 through Perdue's innovative planning. The program has grown to immeasurable heights with the team of trained citizen volunteers assisting police in non-enforcement duties. The market for their help has even spread into other areas of the city, allowing them to serve in many different capacities. Since the program's inception, the VIPS have given the community over 177,000 hours of service. In 2014, the VIPS Program was recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as the Outstanding Volunteer Program Award recipient.
In 2011, Chief Perdue implemented a shared services agreement with the cities of Haltom City, Richland Hills, and Watauga for dispatching and jail services. In consolidating these services, each city saves hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly in operational costs. The partnership has also resulted in improved communication and cooperation between the agencies.
Chief Perdue's forward-thinking led him to the idea of developing a conference serving women in the field of law enforcement. In 2013, he came up with the vision of the Women of Law Enforcement conference. Through collaboration with members of his leadership team, the first conference was held in Southlake in 2014, with just over 100 women in attendance. The idea behind the conference was to provide females in law enforcement with a solid network to mentor and train, in an environment designed specifically for them. The program's success is recognized as the organization begins its tenth year, anticipating another sell-out crowd of 500+ women.
In addition to his many other duties, Perdue oversaw the design and construction of the NRH Animal Adoption and Rescue Center and the North Richland Hills new City Hall facility, which opened in 2016. The nearly 200,000-square-foot facility includes about 89,000 square feet designated for Public Safety. The remaining space is dedicated to city management, Municipal Court, and other city services. He also instructs other Chiefs in developing new police facilities as part of a class taught through the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Chief Perdue also brought the SHIELD program to life in 2016. The concept for the program came from a vision to create not only a refined use of force policy alongside an overall employee wellness program but to be a compass for the department members to follow. The guiding principles of Service, Honor, Integrity, Ethics, the sanctity of all human Life, and De-Escalation serve as the framework for the program's focus. While the department concentrates heavily on the community's needs through the SHIELD program, it also recognizes the need to care for the employee as a whole. The wellness program assists members in maintaining wellness across four different pillars to ensure they are operationally and mentally fit to care for the community.
During his law enforcement tenure, Perdue has served on many professional boards, including over 20 years as part of the Executive Board of the Texoma HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Group and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), where he is a lifetime member and has served on several national committees for the Association. He is a past president of the North Texas Police Chiefs Association and has just completed his most recent role as President of the Texas Police Chiefs Association. In this leadership position, he led law enforcement professionals across the state through several challenging events and spoke to many national news outlets on policing and public safety issues. He has also been called to testify before the Texas Legislature, serving as the voice for the law enforcement community as they examined policies and procedures across the state.
In recent years, five North Richland Hills Officers rose through the ranks under Chief Perdue and were hired as police chiefs in other communities. These include San Luis Obispo (CA), Flower Mound, Grapevine, Bedford, and Forney (TX).
City Manager Mark Hindman shares, "Jimmy Perdue brought positive and lasting improvements in the city of North Richland Hills. During his service with the city, he was an innovative, articulate, analytic, and passionate leader. While he is a police officer to the core, he effectively led other disciplines, from supervising the building of City Hall, to fleet maintenance operations, code enforcement, and economic development. Perhaps the greatest testimony to his versatility was his ability to be a cop who could effectively oversee the NRH Fire Department for the past 13 years. His success in this endeavor is a tribute to his technical skills but also his genuine concern for the people he supervised and the people they served. North Richland Hills has greatly benefited from his very capable and committed servant leadership.”
Chief Perdue reflects on his time in policing, "I am grateful to everyone who had a part in making my career what it has been. My forty-plus-year career in law enforcement has given me more joy than I could have ever thought possible. I have been blessed to work at NRH for the past 17-plus years, and I am very proud of the successes and accomplishments we have achieved together. Regardless of where my journey has taken me, I have tried to be true to my favorite quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.' As I fade away and others step into my place, I hope that each of you will find happiness and fulfillment in your work and life. Be bold in reaching your goals and helping others along the way."