Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

Meet Perris' New Police Chief: John Hill

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch presents outgoing Perris Police Chief James McElvain with a certificate of recognition while new police chief John Hill looks on
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch presents outgoing Perris Police Chief James McElvain with a certificate of recognition while new police chief John Hill looks on.

John Hill, a law enforcement officer with more than 23 years in uniform, was introduced Tuesday as the City’s new police chief.

Hill takes over from Chief James McElvain, who will assume duties as a commander at the Riverside County Sheriff Department’s Ben Clark Training Center. The City of Perris, like many other regional communities, contracts its law enforcement services with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch introduced Hill during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

But Hill has already met some members of the City Council and other dignitaries.

The new chief spoke briefly at the annual March for Babies Relay last week at Foss Field Park and said he is approaching his new duties with enthusiasm.

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough (right) makes a point while welcoming new Perris Police Chief John Hill at the recent City Council meeting
Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough (right) makes a point while welcoming new Perris Police Chief John Hill at the recent City Council meeting.

“I am looking forward to come to the City of Perris very much,” Hill said. “This community has a lot of heart and I am looking forward to working with that.”

Hill’s previous assignments with the sheriff’s department include stints in Moreno Valley, Hemet and the Larry Smith D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. He and outgoing Chief McElvain worked together as sergeants in Moreno Valley. Hill previously worked in Perris as a lieutenant where he supervised the station’s forensics bureau.

Mayor Busch invited both the new chief and his predecessor to the podium at the beginning of the City Council meeting. He presented a certificate of appreciation to McElvain for his “outstanding achievement” as police chief and his “unwavering contributions to the community.”

Under McElvain’s leadership during his four years as Perris Police Chief, crime rates fell by more than 20 percent.
McElvain instituted a “zone policing” strategy that allows officers to concentrate on specific areas of the City to address criminal activity in those neighborhoods. Zone policing officers complete special training in areas that include off-road vehicle enforcement, bicycle patrol, gangs, vice investigations and narcotics enforcement.

“It has been a great ride working for the City of Perris,” McElvain said. “I could not have asked for a better place to be assigned. It was a great pleasure to work with everyone.”

In his new duties, McElvain will partner with agencies like the California Highway Patrol, CalFire and the Department of Homeland Security to train would be police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency responders.

Hill said he will keep the City’s zone-policing program in place.

He said that Perris is a “great city” with combines plenty of history and high-tech, state-of-the-art “green” buildings and small-town charm with major highways and thoroughfares. It’s got Victorian-era home, modern subdivisions, farmland, shopping centers, mom-and-pop businesses  and Fortune 100 companies.

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough chatted with Hill following Tuesday’s meeting and welcomed him to town.

“You’ll like it here,” he told Hill. “It’s got a little bit of everything.”