Deputy Sheriff Audrey Eskridge has received the 2010 Alexandria Optimist Club’s Award Respect for Law Award. The honor is given annually by the Optimists to honor law enforcement personnel who inspire youth through their example to be good citizens and respect legal authority. Eskridge was chosen for her dedication in mentoring, supporting and encouraging children.
Eskridge has a consistent and continued concern for Alexandria’s youth. She works with as a mentor for the Alexandria Mentoring Partnership. Recognizing the devastation to children of domestic violence victims, she also mentors youth whose parents are victims of domestic violence. As a law enforcement officer, she brings hope and encouragement to young people who have been betrayed by adults, and lets them know that the law enforcement community can be trusted to help.
Eskridge regularly participates in the Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day by volunteering to work with Alexandria’s middle school students as they shadow her throughout her work day. Her tours and talks regularly encourage young people to aspire to careers in the law, and inspires respect for the law and its officers. She is excellent with her young charges, always encouraging and helping them understand what the Sheriff’s Office does as well as the workings of the court system. She is also the go-to Deputy whenever youths are touring the Courthouse due to her enthusiasm, patience and the esteem and encouragement she gives to her young charges.
In her home community of Lake Ridge, Eskridge regularly invests her time with her neighborhood teens and assists them regularly by supervising, directing, and working hand to hand with the youth as they complete monthly community clean up projects. She also is a team leader for the annual Tip a Cop charitable giving campaign at Woodbridge, VA’s Red Robin. As Team Leader, she organizes and assists a team of six law enforcement officers serve customers at the Red Robin, with all proceeds going to support the Special Olympics program.
Understanding the importance of helping those beyond our borders, Eskridge sponsored a shoe drive with her daughter and friends to benefit the hurricane victims of Haiti, and assisted in a separate clothing donation project where hundreds of pounds of clothes were collected and sent to Haiti to assist in the relief efforts.
Alexandria Deputy Sheriff George Burnham was recognized by the federal government’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency. His investigative role led to the conviction of Mirwais Mohamadi, in U. S. District Court, Alexandria, on 10 criminal accounts. Because of Deputy Burnham, Mohamadi was sentenced to 57 years in federal prison after being convicted of included solicitation to commit murder, murder for hire, felon in possession of a firearm and witness tampering. Burnham’s efforts were recognized Aug. 20 during the annual Washington Field Division awards ceremony.
“This is another example of local law enforcement working with our federal partners to bring an investigation to a successful conclusion. We take great pride in working with ATF and recognizing Deputy Burnham’s vital accomplishments,“ said Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne.