- This article pertains to the character as he appears on television. You may be looking for his literary counterpart.
Howard "Duke" Perkins was the Sheriff of Chester's Mill.
At the Chester's Mill Town Hall, Linda Esquivel wakes to inform him that Sam Verdreaux called in "some kind of a bang." Duke agrees to look into the matter, claiming that "you never know with this damn place."
Perkins and Linda later witness a procession of firetrucks leaving for the parade in West Lake.
While driving on a residential road, Perkins notices the absence of a front-tag on an approaching Charger, and Linda calls in the license plate number BAB162 as the Dodge passes them.
A short time later, an earthquake occurs, and Perkins immediately clamps his chest. Perkins tells Linda that his "pacemaker must have skipped a beat," but insists that he's fine as radio calls begin flooding in. Perkins learns that all of the Police Department's landlines have gone dead; Freddy Denton calls in downed powerlines near the Clinic, and Paul reports similar problems at the Food Mart. Linda hypothesizes that a tornado may have caused the damage as Perkins spots a prop-plane cruising overhead.
The plane crashes a short time later on the side of the huge dome that now engulfed the entire town of Chester's Mill and Perkins and Linda hurry over to the crash site.
At the prop-plane crash site, Perkins and Linda arrive to find Joe McAlister and the man who was driving the charger. Linda spots Rusty on the opposite side of the barrier and approaches, receiving a shock even as Rusty does the same from the other side; neither of them can hear the other through the barrier. Moments later, Selectman Jim Rennie arrives and identifies the plane as belonging to Chuck Thompson, and Perkins receives several radio calls concerning car accidents and fatalities. Linda, Perkins, and Rennie then realize that the entire town has been cut off from the outside world.
Linda sends Joe home as she, Perkins, and Rennie lay out a map of Chester's Mill and discuss their emergency protocols, and Julia Shumway arrives at the scene to photograph the crash. Perkins instructs Linda to commandeer Shumway's vehicle, and he, Linda and Rennie leave the scene to coordinate the police response.
Later that night, Perkins arrives back at the Chester's Mill Town Hall to find Rennie inside alone. Rennie explains that none of the other councilmen have returned his calls yet, and suggests authorizing additional police officers in order to provide the Department additional manpower, but Perkins refuses. Rennie then asks what to tell people who might ask about the stockpile of propane; Perkins claims that he knows nothing about the fuel, but Rennie responds that Perkins isn't stupid, no matter how much he ignored; Perkins insists that he only did what he had to do to keep Chester's Mill from going broke. Angered by Perkins, Rennie looks at Perkins's chest and asks if he's been checking his pacemaker lately. Perkins responds by stepping close to Rennie and asks if he was threatening him. Rennie simply reminds Perkins that they are "all in this together."
Perkins then goes to Sweetbriar Rose with Linda to find most of the townspeople of Chester's Mill inside. Perkins informs those assembled that twelve people died as a result of the barrier's sudden appearance around the town. Rose asks for an explanation, and Carolyn insists that the town is under attack, but Perkins insists that they simply don't know enough about what's going on to make any assumptions.
After he relayed the news, Perkins and Linda leave the bar and go back to the plane crash site to examine the roadblock as Linda laments that she was supposed to be at the game in West Lake with Rusty. When she questions why the barrier sealed off Chester's Mill, Perkins suggests that perhaps they are being punished, and explains that he tried to protect Linda from the town's darker secrets. When Linda presses him for details, he claims that he was approached a year earlier about a matter; before he can explain further, he reaches out and touches the barrier, receiving a shock that causes his pacemaker to explode inside his chest, killing him instantly.
- "Joe's Blog":
- "Dedicated to Alice" (mentioned)