Kentucky State Police recently honored 15 civilian employees including two Hardin County residents for their work in 2021.
KSP held its annual civilian awards ceremony July 22.
The 2021 KSP Civilian of the Year Award was given to Glendale native and Elizabethtown resident Julie Ferguson, who has worked for KSP for the past 17 years. She is the KSP forensic laboratory supervisor at the Jefferson Lab in Louisville, and has been in that position for eight years.
Ferguson’s peers nominated her because of her determination, work ethic and willingness to help others, making her a respected leader among the agency, according to the news release.
In 2021, Ferguson took on an additional role of interim supervisor at the Western Lab and assisted three other labs with their drug chemistry, blood alcohol and forensic biology.
Ferguson also earned the civilian supervisor of the year award. Although, she said she did not know she earned the civilian of the year award until the ceremony.
“There’s a lot of other qualified civilian award winners there that could have easily won it, but I was very honored that they thought enough of my work to actually consider me for that,” she said.
Telecommunicator Chuck Stewart was posthumously award the 2021 Police Communications Support Award.
Chuck served as a telecommunicator and dispatcher at Post 4 for 19 years. On February 27, 2022, Stewart was working in the dispatch center and died of a heart attack.
Dustin Allen, Chuck’s son, accepted the award at the ceremony along with his son, Carson.
Allen said he had heard of a story that a former employee told him where Stewart, who at the time worked at the jail in dispatch, said that one day he was going to be one of those troopers. It didn’t work out that way, but Allen said that Stewart was a part of the KSP family.
“He was going to be the voice on the other end of the line,” Allen said.
Allen also said Stewart was heavily involved in the Shop with a Trooper program at Post 4 which provided gifts for children during Christmas.
Allen said the award ceremony was a rewarding moment but also a sad one.
“I couldn’t ask for a better father,” he said.
KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. said civilian employees are the link between KSP and the general public, the release said. They make sure troopers are able to respond to situations with all the necessary information and knowledge.
Rocky Adkins, senior advisor to Gov. Andy Beshear, attended the ceremony and presented awards to KSP personnel on behalf of the administration.
“Civilian employees serve in many different roles at KSP from dispatch, maintenance, drivers testing, information technology, public relations and records support,” Adkins said, according to a news release from KSP. “All of these roles allow KSP troopers and officers to effectively do their jobs to protect Kentuckians and create safer communities.”