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Vidor Police Department mourning loss of officer to COVID-related death

“His brothers in blue, along with family and friends, say he will be deeply missed,” Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll said.

VIDOR, Texas — The Vidor Police Department and community are mourning the loss of a beloved officer who they said had a true passion for serving his community.

Officer Chris Berry died while recovering from a COVID-19-related illness and his death has been ruled COVID-related according to a Vidor Police Department news release. Officer Berry's wife found him in their home.

His death will be treated as a "line of duty death" under a Texas law enacted in 2021 according to Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll.

Berry's body will be escorted by a procession Thursday morning at 9 a.m. from the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's office to Claybar Funeral Home in Orange Carroll said.

The procession will exit the interstate at Main street in Vidor to honor the citizens he served and again at FM 1136 to honor his family before continuing to the funeral home according to Carroll

“His brothers in blue, along with family and friends, say he will be deeply missed,” Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll said.

Officer Berry worked in law enforcement for 30 years. During this time, he served on multiple forces including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Pinehurst Police Department, and Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

“That's of course the key component of why we use science and the medical examiner's office to, you know, do their toxicology and everything else to find out is this a COVID-related death,” Chief Carroll said.

The Southeast Texas native attended Lorena Oates Elementary, Orangefield Middle School, and graduated from Orangefield High School in 1985. He graduated from Lamar University with a degree in criminal justice, according to the Claybar Funeral Home.

“He wore his badge with pride,” Chief Carroll said.

He served the communities of Jefferson County, Newton County, Pinehurst & Vidor over a thirty-year career in law enforcement. Officer Berry most recently worked at the Vidor Police Department. He joined in August of 2021.

Chief Carroll described Officer Berry as a man that lived to serve and protect his community. Chief Carrol said he was more than just Officer Berry's boss. They were life-long friends.

“He had a servant’s heart,” Chief Carroll said. “He had, you know, I don't know how many people’s lives he has impacted, but I am sure there were many. I have seen Chris, especially with young people, young adults, how he always had that compassion, and empathy for them in trying to redirect their poor decisions that oftentimes we get involved in.”

The Vidor Police Department is asking the community to keep Officer Berry’s family in their thoughts and prayers.

“Condolences go out to the family, both blood and blue,” Chief Carroll said. “We've been in contact with his, you know, wife and his direct family, and we will get more answers this week. All we can do right now is pray for his family.”

Berry is survived by his devoted wife Brenda, his daughter Bailey and her fiancé Andrew, and his son Brayden, and Amber. Read more about the life of Chris Berry here.

Chris Berry funeral arrangements

Funeral arrangements are set for Saturday, January 29 at the Claybar Funeral Home. It's located at 504 5th Street in Orange.

Family visitation is from noon to 1 p.m. Public visitation is from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The funeral is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. His burial will take place at the Orange Forest Lawn, which is located at 2312 Irving Street in West Orange.

Credit: 12NewsNow

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From a Vidor Police Department news release:

Update: January 26, 2022 at 6:30 PM

The Vidor Police Department has received confirmation from the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office that Officer Berry’s death is Covid related. His death will be treated as a Line of Duty Death under HB 541. (Enacted by the Texas Legislature in 2021)

He will be escorted from the Jefferson County Medical Examiners Officer on Hwy. 69 in Beaumont TX to Claybar Funeral Home in Orange, Texas at 9:00AM on Thursday, January 26, 2022. The Procession will exit IH-10 at Main Street to honor the citizens of Vidor that Officer Berry served. The procession will exit IH-10 at FM 1136 to honor his family before proceeding to Claybar Funeral Home.

From the original Vidor Police Department news release:

It is with deep sorrow that the Vidor Police Department announces the passing Officer Chris Berry. Officer Berry was recovering from a Covid related illness when he was found by his wife deceased at his residence. The Vidor Police Department is currently awaiting results from the Medical Examiner as to cause of death. The death is being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Officer Berry was a 30 Year Law Enforcement Veteran that had served the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Pinehurst Police Department, Newton County Sheriff’s Office and most recently the Vidor Police Department. Officer Berry joined the Vidor Police Department in August 2021. For additional information please contact Chief Rod Carroll, Email: Rcarroll@cityofvidor.com and Office: (409) 769-4561.

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