News reporters share experiences working with Deputy William Petry

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 12:32 PM EDT
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - WYMT interviewed Deputy William Petry hundreds of times when he served as public affairs officer for Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville.

Former WYMT reporter MaryAnn Fletcher called Petry the former voice of Kentucky State Police Post 9.

”I talked to Petry probably every day of my life, if not every other day of my life,” she said. “If it wasn’t just, ‘hey did you hear about this, ‘hey what’s going on here?’ “It’s hey how are you today?”

Fletcher said Petry was always a text message or phone call away for information.

”I texted him and I said hey are you okay,” she said.

But Fletcher never received a reply.

“I knew something was wrong, but I really didn’t want to believe it,” she added.

Another former WYMT reporter, Angela Sparkman Evans, worked with Petry for several years on various stories.

”I could remember walking into Prestonsburg Police Department, or maybe doing a safety story with KSP and running into him,” said Evans. “He always had a smile on his face, he always seemed really interested.”

Evans said her favorite story to cover with Petry was Shop with a Cop.

”The care that he took with those children and making sure they got everything they wanted in the store,” she said. “How he would work with them going through the store, the check-out line.”

Appalachian News-Express reporter Gary Slone echoed many of the same statements made by Fletcher and Evans.

”He loved his job because he was called to do it,” he said. “It’s a calling, law enforcement isn’t just a job, it’s a calling.” “He loved it with a passion,” Slone added.

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