Perinton safety director handling town’s COVID-19 response: ‘I don’t take this lightly’


PERINTON, N.Y. (WROC) — COVID-19 has changed the way we do a lot of things and it has even changed some people’s job titles. There’s so much to be done each day when it comes to the pandemic, the Town of Perinton decided to appoint someone to handle everything COVID-19 related.

John Overacker has worked in a safety role for the town of Perinton for 11 years. When COVID-19 hit, his job took on a whole new meaning.

“Ultimately the decision was made at that point that the supervisor said, ‘we need to start doing some formal planning on this,'” Overacker said.

He was appointed the Pandemic Safety Director in May and hit the ground running.

“When everything did shut down that’s when we started the planning process. That’s when we started planning things like barriers, mask requirements, hand sanitizer, things like that,” he said.

Overacker works with state and county leaders to plan ahead for situations like the new microcluster zones.

“We starting planning for a possible move into orange and even red.”

Overacker’s title was recently changed to the Director of Safety and Security. He said it’s a big weight to carry but he’s glad to serve his community.

“Ultimately my job involves the safety of everyone coming into our facilities and I don’t take that lightly, that’s a serious thing for me, so a lot of my job includes outside of work planning, getting ready.”

Most town services are still available in Perinton with new precautions to keep everyone safe.

Perinton town supervisor Ciaran Hanna says this in a statement about appointing Overacker to this role:

“We knew from the beginning of the pandemic that our priority had to be  on keeping the residents and employees safe at Town Hall. We realized this crisis was going to last quite a while, so we knew we had to appoint someone to focus on how to proceed safely. John has done a great job with that every step of the way. We have never really paused any of our operations and he is a big reason we have been able to keep our Town Hall open the way it is, providing much-needed services to the public in a safe and effective way.”

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