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A keen eye for history

Ben Godar

With Lt. Bruce Speirs taking over supervision of the Burbank Animal

Shelter, Sgt. Will Berry now becomes the voice of the Burbank Police.

Berry, a 30-year veteran, hopes to use his new position to help


the public gain a better understanding of how the department


“A lot of the reason there is suspicion of police is because

people don’t understand why we’re doing what we’re doing,” he said.


In his new position as public information officer, Berry will be

responsible for relaying information from detectives regarding

investigations and speaking to the media on behalf of the department.

Berry started with the Burbank Police as a cadet in 1972 before

officially joining the force the following year. He was promoted to

sergeant in 1987, and has worked in crime prevention and on the

juvenile detail between stints in the patrol bureau.

Speirs said Berry has probably worked with everyone in the


department at one time, and that breadth of experience will serve him

well while operating as the department’s spokesman.

“He has a real good feel for how our patrol and investigative

operations function as an integrated effort,” Speirs said.

In addition to the various details he’s worked, Berry is the

department’s historian and curator of the police museum. Many of the

displays in the museum came from his own collection, as did a display

featuring the patches of every police department in California. While


that display is impressive, it is only a small part of his total

collection of about 30,000 law enforcement patches.

The 51-year-old police veteran’s hobbies also extend beyond law

enforcement to cooking. He and his wife recently won the grand prize

at the Albuquerque Fiery Foods Festival for their hot sauce.

While he is looking forward to gaining a better understanding of

the department from an administrative level, Berry said he would miss

working patrol. About two weeks ago, he said he slightly injured his

wrist while fighting to apprehend a forgery suspect.

“I’ve been on the force for 30 years and I still enjoy getting out

in the street,” he said.