TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-respected police officer, wife and mother who has died aged 43.
Mum-of-one Sgt Kerry Emerson, of Lindley, was described by husband Andy as “a perfect wife and mother.”
Colleagues also paid tribute to a dedicated and caring police officer who served for 24 years.
Wakefield-born Kerry, who had a son Jamie, 14, died on May 24 after a battle with cancer.
She was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August last year and the disease spread to her liver.
A funeral service with full police honours took place at Huddersfield Crematorium on Thursday, June 6.
Kerry became a police officer at just 19 and she met future husband Andy two years later when they worked at Huddersfield Police Station.
The couple married in 1999 in Chester, one of their favourite places.
Andy said: “Kerry was dedicated and hard-working in her career and very loving and very proud of her son.
“She had a heart of gold and planned surprises and holidays for the family. She was my soulmate and we were very happy together.
“I had recently retired and we were looking to spend more time together.”
Kerry joined West Yorkshire Police aged 19 in August 1989.
In her application she said she wanted to be a police officer because she liked helping people and wanted to provide a public service.
She trained at the North East District Police Training Centre in Durham and was posted to Sowerby Bridge.
After a year she was transferred to Huddersfield and worked as a community constable in Moldgreen.
She was heavily involved in working with young people on the brink of criminality.
She helped run an outward bound and activity programme called the Policing Award for Excellence.
Always passionate about helping vulnerable people she joined the Kirklees Safeguarding Unit, working with victims of domestic violence and adults needing protection.
She was instrumental in setting up Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences.
Kerry was acting sergeant at the unit before being promoted to the rank in 2006.
In her sergeant’s exam she was in the top two per cent of candidates across the country.
Kerry was posted to Bradford South and worked as custody sergeant, in the Neighbourhood Policing Team and in the control room.
She spent about six months as acting inspector in 2010-11 during which time she ran the response team.
Chief Insp Marianne Huison, operational chief inspector for Kirklees, said: “Kerry was extremely well thought of by everybody who knew her.
“She was a very intelligent officer, calm and good under pressure and in a crisis but kind and caring.
“She worked hard to ensure we delivered a first class service to the public.”
Chief Insp Huison spoke at the funeral service along with Chief Insp Jaene Booth, of Bradford South division.
Kerry received a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 2009 and two jubilee medals.
As a child Kerry was a talented cellist and pianist who performed with Wakefield Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.
She also performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London and at a concert conducted by Ted Heath at Wakefield Cathedral.
She loved horse-riding and dancing and attended dance classes at the Denby Dale Pie Hall.
She decided at the age of 12 she wanted to be a police officer and her parents Burt and Christine Wrigglesworth said they were immensely proud of her.