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Retired Hartford Chief of Police, Ben Berry, dies

Former colleagues share how he will be missed.
Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 6:16 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Geneva County is grieving the loss of a retired Hartford Police Chief, Ben Berry. Berry passed away over the weekend.

Berry served Geneva County for decades.

“We’re going to miss him, we really are,” Geneva County Sheriff Tony Helms said.

Berry was a husband, father, grandfather and friend.

“It’s just a tremendous loss, losing him as a friend,” Danny Staley, Geneva County Chief Deputy, said.

Berry passed away Sunday morning.

“No matter how hard we work, no matter how hard we do, sometimes health will catch up with you and get you for any reason,” Sheriff Helms said.

Berry started his career in the law enforcement field at the Geneva County Jail as a Correctional Officer in the late 80′s.

“I mean everybody liked Ben,” Sheriff Helms said.

Sheriff Helms knew Berry since childhood and said Berry made a difference in this community.

“Ben will always be known as a good officer,” Sheriff Helms said. “People still ask around about Ben, people will still miss him and like I said just having the quality of officer that he was, the work ethic that he had, days that he would work that he probably needed to be at home and he was still working.”

Chief Deputy Staley worked with Berry on the road during his time at the Geneva County Sheriff Office.

“Ben was a people person,” Chief Deputy Staley said. “He treated everybody with respect and as long as you treated him with the same, he would always be fair and he would always go above and beyond to try to help people.”

Berry worked at the jail and put himself through the academy at the same time. Sheriff Helms said this is something that doesn’t happen a lot anymore.

“It’s too easy to give up, it’s too easy to push to the side and Ben never did do that,” Sheriff Helms said. “Ben set his goal that he wanted to be a law enforcement officer, knew what it would take, started down at the jail and worked himself toward it and worked his career toward what he wanted to do. He just wanted to help folks.”

Berry worked his way up to Deputy Sheriff at the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office and later became Chief of Police at Hartford.

“I think the people of Geneva County was served well by him, I just enjoyed my time with him and it’s just a great loss losing him,” Chief Deputy Staley said.

Berry served in the law enforcement field for decades and his former coworkers and friends grieve the loss of an all-around “good guy.”

Berry’s son Jonathan is also a member of the law enforcement community.

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