“There are many people you encounter who are smart, or professional, or honest. Others are organized, or kind, or dedicated, or honorable, or even tempered. Ed Ward is that rare person who embodies ALL of these qualities. The Sheriff’s Office has benefited from his example, and he will be greatly missed.”
This quote, from a person who asked to remain anonymous, perfectly sums up Sgt. Ed Ward, who recently retired as a detective from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office earlier this month. For this month’s article, I have chosen to highlight Sgt. Ward, who has been and will continue to be a great asset to Fayette County.
I have worked with Sgt. Ward as Prosecuting Attorney for nearly eight years, and for almost six of those years, he was a detective with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Ward’s only faults as a detective were also his greatest assets. He would spend as much time as needed on any case, interviewing any witness, traveling as many miles as needed, and closing any loopholes that might exist – all in the name of justice.
Sgt. Ward never lost sight of the true goal of law enforcement, which is to seek justice, and wherever, whenever, or whomever that justice might lead or might come to fruition, his goal was to get the job done and importantly to get it done right. Sometimes in law enforcement, a detective will bring a case to the Prosecutor’s Office thinking that they have it all wrapped up, and for whatever reason the prosecutor wants more. A reaction that could occur, although rare in Fayette County as a whole, is that that detective could complain about having to do additional work, but that was something that Sgt. Ward never did. If anything, he wanted to know why we thought we needed something else on a case, so that when he went back out to gather or attempt to gather further evidence, he knew what questions to ask, or what to specifically look for.
He would do all of that, while at the same time having victims that would be pressing him to get the case done, and often times would be contacting our office at the same time. However, the common refrain that he and I would discuss is that we would rather have someone upset with us for taking a little bit longer and getting it right, than rushing through it and learning later that we made a mistake that could not be undone.
Sgt. Ward also had an ability to treat all those he came into contact with professionalism and respect. That is not always an easy task when dealing with suspects who are alleged to have committed the most heinous of crimes. However, I always knew that when Sgt. Ward brought us a case file, he followed procedure to a “T”, and that we would not have to worry about proper procedures being followed.
Sgt. Ward is that person that works hard at his job, completes his job, and is willing to go above and beyond, when not even requested. It takes a rare combination of qualities to make someone a good detective. Sgt. Ward embodied all of those, and will be missed by all of those in our office. He never did his job for any accolades, but we at the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office wish him a lengthy, enjoyable and well-deserved retirement. Thanks Eddie!
Jess Weade is the Fayette County Prosecutor.