Perry Tarrant Hired to Oversee Gang Free Initiative and Emergency Preparedness

Perry Tarrant has spent nearly 35 years building an impressive resume that includes extensive law enforcement and emergency management experience. Tarrant will now apply that wealth of experience to helping the Yakima Gang Free Initiative (“GFI”) evolve into full operational mode while also overseeing the City of Yakima’s emergency preparedness efforts.

As of July 1st, Tarrant will bring his depth of knowledge to his new job as the City’s Emergency Preparedness/Gang Free Initiative Manager.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Perry’s caliber, with his strong and long list of credentials, joining the City of Yakima team,” said City Manager Tony O’Rourke. “The structure of the Gang Free Initiative has been carefully designed over the last several years and I’m confident Perry is the right person to take it to the next level. His expertise in crisis and incident management will also be invaluable as the City elevates its capabilities to prepare for and respond to emergencies,” said O’Rourke.

Since 1980, Tarrant has held a variety of positions with the Tucson, Arizona Police Department. He started as an officer for the department and became a member of the SWAT team and canine unit. From 1990 to 1997, Tarrant supervised internal affairs, traffic, SWAT, and other operations. From 1997 to 2005, he served as a lieutenant and oversaw neighborhood crime teams and the department’s tactical support section, was patrol commander for two different areas of the City, and was an executive officer in the Office of the Chief. Since 2005 when Tarrant was promoted to captain, he has been a patrol division commander, specialized response division commander, and investigation division commander. He has also been an instructor at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute and is a public administration adjunct faculty member at Northern Arizona University.

Tarrant earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona, a graduate certificate in criminal justice from the University of Virginia, and a master’s degree in administration from Northern Arizona University. He also holds the unique distinction of having graduated from both the FBI National Academy and the National Fire Academy. Additionally, Tarrant is a certified commercial pilot.

In his new role with the City, Tarrant will be responsible for implementing all elements of the GFI and will head up the training and coordination aspects of the City’s emergency preparedness capabilities.

The GFI has been in development for several years and in 2013 entered the first phase of implementation. The initiative is focused on early prevention and intervention efforts targeted at keeping at-risk youth from joining gangs and the suppression of ongoing gang activities. The initiative is centered on building and enhancing partnerships with local service providers to offer mentoring, life skills training, counseling and other support to at-risk kids and their families and on collaborating with law enforcement to address existing gang problems.

The City’s emergency preparedness efforts include building and maintaining the capability to respond to natural disasters, hazardous materials releases, large-scale crises, etc.