Greenwich Police Deputy Chief Berry Accepts Job as Chief of Police at Western CT State University

On Friday the interim president of Western Connecticut State University, Paul Beran announced that the school’s new chief of police would be Robert Berry who is currently a member of the Greenwich Police Dept.

Berry joined Greenwich Police in 1997 and served as deputy chief of police for the past two years. He was promoted to deputy chief in August of 2020.

He also has a long military career, having retired as a colonel from the Army Reserves in 2018. One of his last active-duty deployments was as director of Emergency Services for the U.S. Army in Kuwait.

Deputy Chief Robert Berry photographed at his promotion ceremony. August 27, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

Berry graduated with a bachelor of Business Administration from Fordham University and two master’s degrees, one in National Security/Homeland Security Studies from the American Military University and the second, in Strategic Studies, from the U.S. Army War College.

Berry is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician with training on de-escalation and assisting people in behavioral crises.

In the WCSU statement to all staff and employees, president Beran said, “During the interview process, Chief Berry listed as one of his proudest accomplishments his work as co-founder of Greenwich CARE, which brought together multiple service providers to help people with behavioral health and/or substance use disorders.”

On Monday morning Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, who also serves as Greenwich’s Police Commissioner, commented, “We certainly we wish him well in his new endeavor and thank him for his many years of dedicated service to the people of Greenwich.”

“I personally worked with him a lot these last three years and found him to be very professional and always ‘by the book,'” Camillo added.

Monday, after a police swearing in ceremony for three new officers at the police station, Chief James Heavey said he believed Berry would be a great fit at WCSU.

“It’s our loss but their gain,” he added. “He’s going to take all of his 27 years of experience here, and his military experience and advanced degrees and do outstanding.”

“For what it does for us, is it puts into play our succession plan,” Heavey continued. “We’re going to have a deputy chief’s test and a captain’s test. We currently already a lieutenant and sergeant’s eligibility list, and have had a pre-conversation with HR about the process.”

“We’re working on the transition part. The succession part will be in the weeks to come,” Heavey added.

Heavey said DC Berry was very involved during Covid and was the Detective Captain during the investigation of the death of Valerie Reyes, who was discovered in February 2019 along Glenville Road.

“I’m very happy for him, but sad we’re losing him because we were able to do a lot of great things together,” Heavey added.

Deputy Chief Robert Berry with Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo at a press conference about police staffing in the area of Greenwich Avenue. July 27, 2022 Photo: Leslie Yager

Beran added that in his application letter Chief Berry said, “My belief is that police officers should serve as guardians of every life, protect the entire community, defend the rights of every person and enforce the law equitably, fairly and transparently.”

Beran thanked the members of the school’s search committee and all those who took part in public forums.

He said Berry will begin his job as chief at WCSU on April 17.

New Lebanon Grandparents and Special Friends Day
Greenwich Police Captain Robert Berry gets a hug from a student at New Lebanon School during Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Nov 18, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager
Greenwich Police Captain Robert Berry with a student at New Lebanon School during Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Nov 18, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager