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Hartselle Enquirer
Enquirer photos/Lauren Jackson Chet Berry comes to Hartselle Intermediate with previous experience as a school resource officer in Huntsville City Schools.

Meet Chet Berry

HCS welcomes new school protection officer

Hired through a new school protection officer program that launched this school year, Officer Chet Berry serves inside the walls of Hartselle Intermediate School. His task: to keep the students and staff safe. 

Berry, a 24-year law enforcement veteran, said he was drawn to the job by the reputation of Hartselle City Schools. “It’s a great school system; the reputation precedes it, and that’s where I wanted to be,” Berry said. “The city itself is just nice; it’s just a hometown atmosphere.”

Enquirer photos/Lauren Jackson Berry interacts with students during lunchtime at Hartselle Intermediate School.

As one of the first of 10 school resource officers assigned to Huntsville City Schools in the 1990s, Berry is no stranger to working with students. “I love kids; I have six grandkids, so I just thoroughly enjoy working around kids,” he said. “I am walking the hallways a lot, and I like to be at all lunches and breaks. I just love the interactions with the kids. I like them to see us as not intimidating; I want to break down those walls so they realize we are here to help them.”

Upon retiring from being a school resource officer in Huntsville in 2013, Berry began looking after his grandchildren until they stared school – something he said he loved doing. “I had to turn in my gun and badge for a diaper and some wipes,” he joked. “They started growing and going to school, and I started getting a little bored.”

Upon putting his application in with the Hartselle Police Department, Berry said he was impressed with the family atmosphere. He was offered a chance to return with Huntsville Police Department but ultimately decided to come to Hartselle. 

“Being from a large department, sometimes you get lost in the shuffle. Chief Barley made it very personal,” Berry said, “and the department itself is like a family.” 

 

 

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