SUNRAY, TX (KFDA) - The City of Sunray hopes to calm the waters and head in a new direction with new faces in their leadership roles.
KJ Perry is a familiar face stepping into the role of Sunray city manager.
“It is a transition for me, but I felt after nearly 24 years, let’s try something new,” said Perry.
With 18 of those years spent as the director of public works, Perry said he knows what the city needs.
But the changes won’t happen overnight.
“We’ve got a bad rep in a lot of areas,” he said. “We’re gonna rebuild that and it’s gonna take some time. We didn’t get in this position overnight, it’s gonna take some time to rebuild, but we’re certainly taking some steps in the right direction.”
After the recent shutdown of the city’s EMS operations, Perry said he’s working on getting a First Responders Organiation (FRO).
“We’re still in collaboration with the Moore County Hospital,” said Perry. “They’re actually providing the services for us, but with an FRO we can at least tend to residents and give them more immediate care while they’re waiting.”
He said some city departments have historically had divisions that they’re trying to work through.
“We’ve had a lot of segregation between departments even, fire department, police department and everything, and that kind of clashed even with the community,” said Perry. “So I think opening up and being clear with one another. I’m trying to stay in touch with the fire department and police department, constantly know what’s going on. And if we’re more open with the public too, I think it’s just a friendly face in all departments going out there. So I think the public’s really going to see this. They’re gonna see it within us too.”
He hopes to accomplish that with a new fire chief, as well as a new police chief, Colt Farni.
“I was the investigator for Moore County Sheriff’s Office and I worked for Moore County for the last nine years,” said Farni.
With 106 reports made since January second, Farni said the community already feels more comfortable reporting things to the department since he stepped in.
Since assuming the role in January, he has hired a new police officer and animal control officer. Up next is changing their look.
“We’re going to revamp the whole department,” he said. “The look of the vehicles... they’re actually going to change the look next month. Also [the] uniforms. I don’t want any of the same look that was here previously.”
His main focus: community policing.
“We try real hard to get out, and go to businesses and visit with people,” said Farni. “We’ve got an open door. Any time anybody wants to come in for anything, they’re welcome.”
His goal is to create a friendly police department the City of Sunray can count on.
“Of course we’re going to upset some people, but I want everyone in the community to be comfortable with me and my officers, and be able to talk to us, and visit with us and show us their concerns,” said Farni. “I want them to know that we’re not trying to be the bad guys and we want the community support. We’re here for them.”