Retired Reservoir Police Chief Perry Waggener Saturday morning in hospice after a fierce battle with cancer.
Current Chief Trevell Dixon, who came up under Waggener and sat with him in his last days, posted on the Reservoir Police Facebook page about his mentor.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Retired Police Chief Perry Waggener,” he wrote. “Chief Waggener served the people and community of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District for many years. Chief Waggener was dedicated to making sure that the Reservoir was safe for all who lived in the area and those who came to visit for recreation. Chief Waggener worked his way up from Spillway Operator, to Patrol Officer, to Chief of Police here at Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.”
“This morning my amazingly compassionate uncle ended his battle with cancer. He was a warrior like no other and fought the battle with grace, humility and a lot of humor,” wrote his neice Eva Price. “He spoke about those ‘pearly gates’ at times and I would like to think when he saw them he danced and smiled that wonderful smile as he entered. I love you Perry and we will see you again soon.”
Dixon said Waggener was an influence not only to current officers, but also to those who aspired to be in law enforcement.
“Chief Waggener believed in opportunities for change and progression for the better when it came to work and everyday life,” Dixon wrote. “He lived life to the fullest and had one of the best sense of humor anyone could ever ask for in this lifetime.”
Friends, family, and colleagues have weighed in on the loss of Chief Waggener, all saying he was unforgettable.
“Got the news yesterday and I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact you’re gone,” wrote Chad Maclain. “I’ll never get another text message talking about how much something I posted made you and Debbie laugh. Or the way you always had some of the best advice for so many situations in life. You were more of inspiration to me than you’ll ever know chief!”
“Perry, you were always the life of the party!! You could make anyone smile and love you within 1 minute of meeting you,” wrote Ashley Houston Arceo. “You always had the best attitude for anything life threw at you, including when you were diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma 3.5 yrs ago!! It took us all a little while to process it but you didn’t want us to spend another moment worrying about it!! You’re so so so loved, by so so so many.”
Beth Tompkins called Waggener “One of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”
Dixon asked that the community continue to keep PErry’s wife Debbie Waggener, brother Charlie Waggener, and the rest of the Waggener family and friends in their and prayers.
“Chief, it has been an honor to serve under your leadership and you are now able to get your rest,” Dixon wrote. “We at the Reservoir Police Department love you. ‘We have the watch from here!’ Thank you for everything!”