OC detective honored for internet crimes work
Orange County, Texas – Detective Richard Fergon with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was
recognized in Monday’s Commissioners’ Court meeting for all of his hard work to
stop and catch internet predators that target children.
The Department of
Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations presented Fergon with a
rarely given Partnerships for Public Safety Award. This national award recognizes
people who have made significant contributions to the DSH-HSI’s child
Nathan Curry with the Department of Homeland Security presented
Detective Fergon with the Award because Resident in Charge Agent Ed Silva was
not able to make it to the Commissioners’ Court meeting on Monday.
“We nominated Detective Fergon because he’s become vital contributor to
Operation Safety Net, a multi-agency enforcement initiative sponsored by ICE-HSI
office of the Resident in Charge in Beaumont,” Curry said. “In support of
Operation Safety Net, Detective Fergon conducts online, undercover
investigations, participates in search warrants and conducts digital forensic
examinations in support of HSI Child Exploitation Investigations, both in SAC
Houston area of responsibility as well as nationwide.”
Fergon has identified numerous child exploitation suspects and is relied
upon in support by HSI in the execution of search warrants, most importantly
providing digital forensic analysis. Forensic analysis is critical to the HSI-Beaumont
mission, where the office lacks the requisite personnel with such a unique and
specialized background. Fergon has become a tremendous asset to HSI.
In January 2010, the Orange County Sherriff’s Department began working
with Houston’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) and the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help catch internet predators that target
The Commissioners ordered a hiring freeze for Orange County earlier this
month, which will require each department to come before the court to request
hiring a new employee. This order did not include temporary help or part time
Temporary workers are hired in emergency situations or when an employee
is out sick or on vacation. Part time help are considered permanent part time.
The Commissioners decided that each department would be able to hire
emergency temporary workers at any given time if there was a need for it. The
department heads would then go before the court at the next scheduled
Commissioners’ Meeting to get approval to keep the temporary worker hired on
until they were no longer needed.
An example of this would
be for the Maintenance Department. When a custodian is out sick or on vacation,
they need a temporary worker to fill in until the employee comes back to work.
The Commissioners approved of Mark Wimberly, Maintenance Director, hiring a
temporary worker on an as-needed basis.
The County decided to not implement a burn ban even though the western
side of the County was starting to slightly show the fire danger risks again.
Jeff Kelley, director of Emergency Management, said the County probably has
another week before a burn ban should be implemented. Should the need arise
before the next scheduled Commissioners’ Court meeting, the County Judge Carl
Thibodeaux can implement an Emergency Burn Ban.
Pct. 4 Commissioner Jody Crump sought approval regarding the Orange
County Commissioners’ Court to issue a Resolution urging the Texas
Transportation Commission to provide the required funding to complete the IH-10
corridor between Hwy 87 and the Sabine River in Orange County.
“Most of the counties [in
our region] and cities have signed proclamations of support [urging the Texas Transportation
Commission to provide funding to complete the remaining IH-10 corridor in
Orange County],” Crump said. “I’m leaving for Austin on Wednesday for the Transportation
Commission to lobby for the $45 million to get that road done. Effectively
there is no money set aside for that right now.”
Crump explained that this
is a huge issue because that highway is the last thing crossed traveling into
Louisiana and the first thing crossed when coming into Texas.
The Commissioners signed