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Sheriff Scott Berry

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I don’t usually get involved with politics, but tomorrow is the election for the Oconee County Sheriff, and I do have something to say on this subject.

A few months ago, a teaching colleague of my wife—and family friend —was involved in a serious automobile accident just a few minutes away from the school in Oconee County where she teaches. Amy and her two daughters were transported by ambulance to Athens Regional Hospital, where my wife and I met them a few minutes after their arrival. We spent a frightening and emotional two hours at Athens Regional before Amy’s youngest daughter, who sustained life-threatening injuries, was life flighted to Atlanta. During that two hours, Sheriff Scott Berry came to the hospital to check on Amy and her daughters, reassuring Amy that the driver of the other vehicle was uninjured and telling her that he was there because he cared for her and her family, and he wanted to help in any way he could.

My wife drove with Amy, and Amy’s family, to Atlanta. While in Atlanta at the children’s hospital, Amy realized that she needed some things from her car. I drove to the junkyard where they had towed the car, but it was deserted, and I couldn’t get in. I called Sheriff Berry, who immediately offered to go to the junkyard and get whatever Amy needed. He did so and brought Amy’s belongings to me, so I could return them to her.

Sheriff Berry’s kindness did not end there. Amy and her husband stayed in Atlanta at the hospital with their daughter, and at some point, Amy realized that her eye glasses were still in the car. My wife called Sheriff Berry and asked if he had seen Amy’s glasses. Sheriff Berry went back to the car and looked again but was unable to find the glasses. The sheriff called my wife to tell her, and knowing that Amy could not leave her daughter, asked for her eye prescription, telling my wife that he would get Amy some new glasses. Just for context, Sheriff Berry had never met Amy before the day of her accident, yet he was willing to go out of his way to help her, even volunteering to get a prescription filled for new glasses, so she wouldn’t have to worry. As my wife said on that day, “What an incredible servant leader.”

Perhaps going to the hospital to check on Amy and her daughters would have been the routine practice of many sheriffs’ offices, but I believe the kindness and compassion Sheriff Berry showed while he was at the hospital was not routine. Certainly, his continued “behind the scenes” kindnesses that no one other than my wife, myself, and Amy’s family witnessed were not common. His repeated trips to the junkyard and his offer to buy Amy new glasses reflect both his deep commitment to the people of the county that he serves and his character.

Sheriff Berry is a good man, a skilled law enforcement officer and administrator, and he is passionately committed to keeping Oconee County a safe place to live and work.

I can think of no man who would better serve Oconee County as Sheriff than Scott Berry

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