Community gathers to remember Sgt. Wilbur Berry

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Many in Bulloch County gathered this morning to remember a deputy killed in the line of duty more than two decades ago.

You’ll find the flags at the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office at half-staff every May 19, not just for the national observance of Police Memorial Week, but the local loss of a beloved deputy, husband, father, and mentor.

Generations of Sgt. Wilbur Berry’s family stood as a color guard placed the annual memorial wreath. Berry was shot and killed in a struggle with a suspect 21 years ago today. His widow says she sees his legacy of service all the time.

“When I see an ambulance go by, I think of him. When I see the sheriff’s office go by, I think of him,”

Sheriff’s personnel stood solemnly. Only a few remain who worked with him. The rest know of his reputation as a deputy and everybody’s friend.

Sheriff Noel Brown said, “it’s not always about locking them up, throwing them in the jailhouse and walking away. He tried to direct people in the right path.”

His death came during Police Memorial Week. Loved ones say that timing helps many in the community put a face and name with the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s a good reassurance because we know for sure on that day they’re going to remember and honor him on that day.”

The sheriff’s office retired Berry’s radio number of Bulloch 8, but the county displays it on ever fire truck, patrol car or ambulance.

The sheriff says they’ll continue this memorial for another 21 years and beyond

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