David Berry: Cleaning up after the police

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By Becca Owsley

While the Elizabethtown Police Department is cleaning up the streets, David Berry takes pride in keeping their building in tip-top shape.


Berry, 69, started working with the city in November of 1992 and for the past decade has been the custodian for EPD after the construction of its current station.

“This is probably the best job I’ve ever had,” he said. “I wouldn’t leave it for anything.”

Part of the reason he loves his job are the people he works with. He said they are the “top of the line.”

He keeps the whole building clean, buffs floors, cleans carpets, does general maintenance and takes care of all the outside.

“I know everybody here’s proud of it and I like to keep it good for them,” he said.

He appreciates it when people tell him how good the building looks but he feels like it’s just his job to keep it looking that way.

“I like things kept neat, I just try to do it the best I can,” he said.

EPD’s Virgil Willoughby said that Berry is “extremely hard working.”

The department moved into the current facility at the corner of South Mulberry and College streets in December of 2004 and Willoughby said it looks as good today as it did when they arrived.

“He takes great ownership of it,” Willoughby said adding he didn’t know anyone who would have a bad thing to say about Berry.

Berry said he is close to all the people at the police station and thinks of them as family.

“If something happened to one of them it would probably tear me up,” he said.

He knows the dangers of police work professionally and personally because his son is a state trooper.

Berry listens to the dispatch sometimes and thinks about the officers when they are in a dangerous situation. Many times when he sees them head out, he’ll holler and tell them to “be careful.”

Police Chief Tracy Schiller describes Berry as a “special person.”

“He greets everyone each day with a big smile and wave of the hand,” Schiller said. “If you are feeling a bit low just go find Dave and I assure you that you will leave his company with a much brighter outlook on life.”

He said Berry is a man of great character and ethic.

“His work product is but one example,” he said. “He, single handedly, ensures that the building and the grounds are in premium condition.”

When Schiller gives tours people ask how many people it takes to keep such a large building in “pristine condition.”

“When I tell them one, they refuse to believe me,” he said. “But if they knew David they would know I was telling them, the absolute truth.”

Everyone in the department has the “utmost respect and admiration” for Berry and what he does each day, Schiller said. The department awarded him with its first 212 Degree Award.

“This is presented to that one person who exemplifies what it means to give that little bit of extra that makes all the difference,” he said.

He said EPD is fortunate to have Berry as a part of the team.

“We have all experienced a bit more happiness in our life because of him,” he said. “He is dearly loved by all of us.”

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Getting to know David Berry:
Movies: Berry enjoys history movies, especially ancient history.
Hobbies: Spending time with his grandchildren. The both play soccer and he is at every game.
Family: Wife, Ruth; son, Chris; and two grandchildren Maddie, 8, and Landon, 6.
At home: He likes to do projects around the house and landscaping.  
Reading preference: The newspaper