Charles Co. sheriff honored to be chosen as subject for student's Black History Month essay

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One Maryland law enforcement officer is making some history. Maybe you didn't know about it, but one 10-year-old boy from Charles County did.

There is a new sheriff in town. On Friday afternoon, Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry walked right into a classroom of fourth graders at Grace Lutheran School in La Plata.

He is here for a visit because 10-year-old Josiah Caballoero had been given an assignment.

"We had to write an essay about our favorite black American," the young student said.

Jackie Robinson was a close second for young Josiah. But there is a reason he chose Berry.

"I was the first African-American sheriff to hold the post here in Charles County," he told the students on Friday.

Berry is the first in the county's 356-year history.

He grew up in nearby St. Mary's County and spent his career at the Charles County Sheriff's Office.

"Back in 1992, I was hired under Sheriff James Gartland," said Berry.

He was elected and sworn in December.

"It is a very humbling experience when a young person comes to you and they want to write a book report about you and your life," Berry told us.

Josiah interviewed the sheriff. There were some serious questions about race.

"There has been a lot of trailblazers," said Berry. "I understand that there have been several people who have been the bridge to allow me to be seated in this position, to allow me to put my name on ballot."

The toughest question he faced from Josiah: what is his favorite color?

"The answer is blue, police blue," he laughed.

Josiah's favorite color is also blue. He also found that they had another thing in common.

"We both like cheeseburgers," the 10-year-old said.

Josiah's father is a sheriff's deputy. He would like to go into law enforcement too. He is thinking about the SWAT team.

"You get to break down doors," Josiah said.

And maybe break down barriers just like Sheriff Troy Berry.