LOCAL NEWS

UHP Lt. Lee Perry Retiring After Three Decades Of Service

Dec 31, 2019, 10:18 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 11:12 am

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Utah Highway Patrol Lieutenant Lee Perry is retiring after serving on northern Utah’s roads for over three decades.

As many gathered to celebrate the coming of a new year, lots of people gathered in Brigham City to say thank you to Perry for the past 31 years.

“Congratulations,” said UHP Colonel Michael Rapich as he gave a framed plaque and certificate to Perry during a goodbye party Tuesday afternoon.

“Thank you,” said Perry as people started clapping.

Perry was the lieutenant over UHP Section 1, which includes Box Elder, Cache, and Rich counties.

“He will be missed. He has been a valuable part of this community and someone I knew I could always rely on for help,” said Brigham City Police Chief Michael Nelson.

He has made a lot of friends through the years and many of them came to wish him well.

After 31 years, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry is retiring. Today was his last day. Tonight in our 10:00 newscast,…

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Tuesday, December 31, 2019

“Honestly, I told my wife, I said I hope we get somebody that shows up if we’re going to have this open house,” said Perry with a laugh.

It was standing room only as friends, family, colleagues and former colleagues took turns saying funny stories.

“This community will greatly miss you,” said one woman.

“Thank you for everything you have done,” said a man while holding Perry’s shoulder.

“I didn’t think you would amount to much,” said Perry’s father-in-law as everyone in the crowd started laughing.

Ever Perry’s mother stood up to give her son a hug.

“I’m so proud of you,” she said.

Many people said Perry meant a lot to them.

“Lee is such a great friend,” said Kristie Beesley.

Beesley’s husband, UHP trooper Aaron Beesley, was killed in the line of duty in 2012.

Perry was Beesley’s lieutenant and to this day, he often calls Kristie to make sure she and her kids are okay.

“He just took care of us and it still feels like, even after as long as it has been, he’s still taking care of us,” she said. “He’s still checking on us, keeping track of how my boys are doing, and he does it often enough that we feel like, wow, we’re not forgotten.”

The family of UHP trooper Eric Ellsworth said the same thing.

Ellsworth was killed in 2016 and Perry often calls the Ellsworth family to see how they’re doing.

“I wanted to make sure that no man ever got left behind and no man ever got forgotten,” Perry said. “God forbid something would’ve happened to me in these 31 years, I wanted to know that my wife and kids would be taken care of.”

That’s a lot of compassion for a guy who didn’t like law enforcement after his brother was killed in an armed robbery at a Brigham City gas station in 1984.

“When he was murdered, that summer, I was probably angry with law enforcement to some level because I didn’t feel like they had solved the crime and someone law enforcement had failed my family,” Perry said.

That all changed when Perry went for a ride along with Box Elder County Sheriff Leon Jensen.

Perry fell in love with how fast police cars could go.

“We got in his patrol car, a Mustang, and we started shifting,” Perry said. “I’m thinking, 22 years old, and I’m going, you get paid to do this? I was sold.”

Now, three decades later, he’s leaving a job he loves.

“I knew if I ever needed anything, Lee would be there to help,” said Box Elder County Sheriff Kevin Potter.

Perry will continue to work as a state representative for the Brigham City area.

However, he’s looking forward to relaxing more often with his wife, Kathy, his children and his granddaughter.

There no doubt, though, he’ll keep in touch.

“Well, you know when they say protect and serve? That’s engraved in my heart is to protect and serve people,” Perry said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Andrew Adams

Deputies: Driver arrested in Utah County had blood alcohol level 8 times legal limit

A 24-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of DUI after deputies said she drove erratically on a road near the sheriff’s office, ultimately damaging her car to the point where it was no longer operable. 
13 hours ago
Utah's Hogle Zoo. (KSL TV)...
Madison Swenson

Hogle Zoo offering Wild Weekdays discount in December

Utah's Hogle Zoo is offering guests $5 general admission every weekday for the month of December.
13 hours ago
(Courtesy: Baron Edwards)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Witness recounts ‘miraculous’ Moab rescue after BASE jumper crashes into cliff

Incredible video shows the terrifying moments a BASE jumper crashed into a cliff in Moab, then hung in the air high above the ground, his parachute stuck in the cliffside.
13 hours ago
(John Wilson/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

SB I-15 closed in Layton following police chase, shooting

State troopers have closed southbound Interstate 15 at Hill Field Road due to a police incident.
13 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

SportClips in Sugar House reopens after massive apartment fire

SportClips in Sugar House reopened for business Tuesday, 33 days after they were forced to close due to a massive fire that broke out at an under-construction apartment complex.
2 days ago
Charges against Linda Tracy Gillman were dismissed after the state was not ready to move forward wi...
Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Charges dropped for 75-year-old woman accused of hiring hit man

Linda Tracy Gillman is already in prison after being convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband and was scheduled to be on trial for attempting to hire another person, to eliminate evidence and a witness in that case.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
UHP Lt. Lee Perry Retiring After Three Decades Of Service