BY LOUIS C. WARD
LAKE COUNTY – Retired Master Deputy Sheriff Wendell Perry, a well-known and highly respected law enforcement officer in the Lake County Sheriff Department, will be recognized for his 30 years of dedicated service February 24, 2023.
The Men of Distinction, a group of Christian African American Men, will present the Law Enforcement Award to retired Master Deputy Sheriff Wendell Perry at its annual Leesburg Black Heritage Black Tie Gala at Venetian Center. Prominent civic and community leaders, representing all areas of business, education, health, clergy, law enforcement and fire safety will attend the major community event.
Perry, who retired in 2016, worked more than 18 years as a school resource deputy at various middle and high schools in Lake County. Perry started his law enforcement career as a correctional officer at the Lake County Jail in 1987, moving up the career ladder to bailiff in the courthouse.
Perry loved working with youth and knew how to foster positive relationships with them. He coached football, basketball, track, and weightlifting while working as a School Resource officer.
Commenting on Perry receiving the Law Enforcement Award, Minister Jakki Perry, Wendell’s wife, said, “I am honored because Wendell did something he loved to do for 30 years. Working with teenagers was his niche, his calling. He loved it, often beginning work at 5 am and returning home some nights at 11 pm.”
“Mr. Perry served our community for 29 years, with more than 18 years as a School Resource Deputy,” Lake County Sheriff Peyton C Grinnell said. “He didn’t just serve as a School Resource Deputy, he served as a coach and mentor and was highly respected in the field of law enforcement. We are extremely proud of Mr. Perry’s service and hope retirement is treating him well.”
Perry is also a deacon and attends Christian Worship Center, where John Christian is the Senior Pastor, who said, Deacon Perry has been an asset to our church, always willing to work with our youth and other areas of need for our church. He deserves to be honored, not only for his law enforcement service to the community, but for his general service to others no matter what the need may be.”