Lt. William Berry has completed thousands of shifts during his 43-year tenure as a Suffolk County correction officer. That’s a tenure transcending six sheriffs, eight U.S. presidents and tens of thousands of defendants flowing in and out of the county’s jails.
But the veteran officer, who rose through the ranks from correction officer to sergeant to lieutenant, with a stint as executive officer of the Sheriff’s Academy Bureau in Brentwood, has taken his last tour.
Berry was feted for a job well done Thursday as dozens of his colleagues — both rank-and-file and command staff — participated in a ceremonial “walkout” to mark his retirement after more than four decades of service with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office.
Berry and his wife, Gilda, walked out of the Riverhead headquarters to the wail of bagpipes as dozens of applauding officers stood on either side.
Sheriff Errol Toulon presented Berry with a proclamation and Suffolk County Correction Officers Association president Lou Viscusi spoke at the ceremony and also gave Berry a gift from the union.