HOUSTON – Officer Jessica Berry of the Missouri City Police Department always knew she would become a police officer.
"It was just something I always wanted to do since I was a little kid. It seemed really cool to me. I went on a ride-along when I was in college and I was hooked."
She's a seven-year veteran of the Missouri City Police Department and is currently part of its motorcycle traffic unit. She specializes in DUI prevention and enforcement.
"Every DUI that's off the road is one less person that can hurt themselves or somebody else,” Berry said.
Her former trainer, Sgt. Tracy Cox, immediately took notice of Officer Berry’s relentless work ethic and quest for learning more while on the job.
"It's not all about arresting someone (for her),” Cox said. “It's about doing the job correctly and getting the community the help that they need."
Officer Berry sought hundreds of hours of additional schooling and training to perform Breathalyzer tests in the field, she is certified to instruct other officers on how to administer field sobriety tests, and she became one of only a few hundred drug recognition experts in the state of Texas.
She uses her skills to determine whether someone is under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs or is suffering a medical emergency.
In 2012, Officer Berry was honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for DUI enforcement.
"In my opinion, Officer Berry has probably saved as many lives as she has made arrests for DUI,” Sgt. Cox remarked.
Even though the job can be tough, Officer Berry says she does it to keep her community safe and to keep families together.
"It’s not a job for everybody. But when you love it, and you enjoy it -- it's wonderful."