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EIU Media Relations

Recent EIU Graduate Returns to Campus as Police Officer


Samantha Berry

Six months after graduating from Eastern Illinois University, Samantha Berry returned to her alma mater to accept the challenge of a quite different role.

Having just completed 10 weeks of training at the Southwestern Illinois Police Academy in Belleville, the 23-year-old Heyworth native began work as an officer with the EIU Police Department.  Now she will spend the next 12 weeks in on-the-job training, working with the force’s more experienced officers before patrolling on her own.

“As a  recent EIU graduate, Samantha has already established relationships with faculty, staff and students across campus,” said UPD Police Chief Kent Martin.  “I have no doubt she will be a very valuable addition to the department and she will serve EIU with pride and integrity.”

Berry, who earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology (with a criminology minor), said she’s known for years that she ultimately wanted to go into law enforcement.  She was thrilled to discover an opening so soon after graduation at “a place I fell in love with as a student.”

As the first one in her very supportive family to graduate from college, Berry said her parents were “very proud, yet very nervous” about a career in law enforcement.  She, however, was anxious to “get out (on campus), reacting with the people.”

“I think with my recent background as a student here, I can be more proactive, more relatable with the students,” she said.  “I’ve been in their shoes.”

Berry is the daughter of Jeff and Judy Berry.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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