Petri Hawkins-Byrd, better known as Officer Byrd, became widely popular after appearing as bailiff on the court of Judge Judy.
Born Petri Adonis Byrd on November 29, 1957, Petri grew up in the neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, with a large family of six members. Byrd attended Eastern District High School, and after his graduation, he attended Hostos Community College in the Bronx.
After completing his college education, he started working as a court officer for the Brooklyn circuit of the New York City Court System and later in 1986 he was transferred to the Family Court division in Manhattan. While working at Manhattan Family Court, he got his B.Sc. degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1989, and it was at this institution he met Judge Judith Sheindlin, who was the Supervising Family Court Judge for Manhattan.
The following year, Byrd and his wife, Felicia Hawkins, moved to California, where he started working as a Special Deputy in the United States Marshals Service.
After Judge Judy
It was in 1996 when he was still working as a Special Deputy in California, he read about the show's inception and wrote a letter to Judy congratulating her and said, “If you need a bailiff, I still look good in uniform.” To date,
Byrd has been with the show for its entire run, making him the longest-running court show bailiff in history. Now that he has been working as a bailiff for more than 16 years he earns a decent salary, and his net worth is estimated to be around $3.5 million.
Apart from working as a bailiff, Byrd also works as an event M.C, guest speaker and community activist. He is also the national chairman of the O.K. Program, which addresses social issues of young black males and is on the board of the faith-based youth program Teen Center USA.