Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CCSO Volunteer Gets National Award

A Collier County Sheriff’s Office volunteer has been recognized by a national group for his work assisting crime victims.

Edward Ferguson, 76, was honored by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the MetLife Foundation at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 7.

The foundation's Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards program, in its eighth year, honors people older than 50 who make outstanding contributions to their communities. This year, 26 volunteers from all over the country were recognized.

Ferguson was praised for his work with the CCSO on-call advocate team. Members assist victims of violent crime and survivors of suicide, and make death notifications.

Ferguson joined the on-call advocate team nine and a half years ago following his retirement from CCSO in July 2000 after 11 years as a civilian deputy in the Crime Prevention Section.

As the only volunteer on the victim advocate team, Ferguson is on call nights, weekends and holidays two to four times a month. Using his law enforcement background, he helps victims cope with the crisis they are facing.

He also provides victims with emotional support, acts a liaison between victims and law enforcement, provides information and referrals to agencies that can offer assistance, and is an advocate on their behalf when they need it.

Ferguson was recognized with a Silver Honor in the Community Champion category, which honors volunteers who use their time and talent to make their community a better place to live.