SKOWHEGAN — The good news Thursday during a retirement party for Becky Berry at the Troop C barracks was that 36 years of secrets were going with her, so they could all sleep well that night, said Col. Robert Williams, chief of the Maine State Police.

The bad news was that 36 years of institutional knowledge, dedication and loyal service also was leaving with her.

Williams, like many other people in the state police command staff, got his start as a trooper patrolling Somerset County as a member of Troop C. He was in Skowhegan for 11 years, from 1984 to 1998.

“She’s great – loyal, dependable, dedicated,” he said. “She’s the type of person who knew all of our secrets and knew when to talk about them and when not to.”

Berry, the administrative assistant to the Troop C commander since 1980, told Lt. Mark Brooks, the current barracks commander, that she was going to retire but she didn’t want a big party. The state police had other ideas.

“Becky said she just wanted to finish the day and walk off,” Brooks told a gathering of more than 75 people Thursday afternoon. “But that’s not what we wanted.”

What Berry got was a building full of current and former state police troopers, detectives and investigators wishing her well, along with game wardens, sheriff’s department members, former and current employees at the district attorney’s office, and relatives and friends.

“This means so much to me,” she told the gathering. “I’ve seen a lot of people came and go from here. I’m going to miss you all.”

Berry, who had the state police radio call number 350, is off to Alaska for a vacation.

In delivering a plaque for her 36 years of service, Brooks said Berry was chipper – a smile and a source of encouragement for troopers just coming in for the day or coming back from covering a fatal accident. She was a gem, he said, and will be missed.

“We respect you. We honor you. We love you,” Brooks said.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

[email protected]

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