Edwards, a Naples native, served in the U.S. Air Force as a security police officer, with deployment to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm and later in South Korea. Upon her discharge in 1994, she joined the sheriff’s office, largely because of her commitment to the community and encouragement from her mother, who was a correctional officer.
Edwards worked in corrections, road patrol and as a criminal investigator in the domestic violence unit before landing in internal affairs five years later; she investigated allegations of misconduct regarding deputies. At that time, she had completed her master’s degree in public administration, graduating summa cum laude. She also adopted daughter Megan, who was 15 months old in 2009 when she arrived from China.
Over the years, Edwards has earned more than 35 specialized training certificates in areas ranging from elder abuse to integrity leadership. She has always mentored other young professionals. And in the community and within her ranks, Edwards has become involved with a number of organizations (please see the sidebar for examples).
In 2013, she swapped jobs with another sergeant, who “wanted to do something else.” And so did Edwards; she moved over to the domestic violence division, where she supervises a team of eight. “I wanted to help victims of family crimes,” she says.” It’s a passion.”
Today, Megan is middle school, and she’s also raising her second daughter Zoe, whom Edwards gave birth to about four years ago.