Sheriff Ira Edwards, Jr. Biography
Sheriff Ira Edwards, Jr. was born in Dublin, Georgia, to the proud parents of Rev. and Mrs. Ira Edwards, Sr. He is one of eight siblings and is a 1979 graduate of Dublin High School. He attended the University of Georgia where he received his B.A. degree in Sociology with a focus in Criminal Studies. He received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University, where he was inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society, graduating with honors. He is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute, where he was nominated, class president. He is also a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy Session 239 and the F.B.I. Leadership Executive Development Program, Session 71.
Sheriff Edwards is the first African American elected in the history of Clarke County and the first to win a county-wide election as a constitutional officer. He took office January 1, 2001, and is currently serving his 5th term. He has served in law enforcement for the past 35 years.
Sheriff Edwards is very active on a local, state, and national level where is serving as 3rd Vice President for the National Sheriff Association and 2nd Vice President for F.B.I. Law Enforcement Executive Development Association. Sheriff Edwards is an adjunct instructor for Athens Technical College, where he is committed to educating our youth to succeed in life. He serves on numerous boards which include, Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes, the Athens Tutorial Program, St. Mary’s Hospital, and D.A.R.E. International. Sheriff Edwards was appointed by the National Sheriff’s Association in May 2020 to serve on the National Faith and Blue Weekend Working Group to strengthen collaboration between law enforcement and local communities.
Sheriff Edwards has received numerous awards just to name a few: U.G.A. President’s M.L.K. Fulfilling the Dream Award, Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes President’s Award, Secretary of State Outstanding Citizen Award, D.A.R.E. America Executive Leadership Award, and the Martin Luther King Jr. International College of Ministers and Laity Award. He was a recipient of 2019 Changing the Picture Community Service Award and has been selected to receive the 2020 Athens Hall of Fame Community Service Award for his unwavering commitment to our youth.
Sheriff Edwards is a member of the Timothy Baptist Church, where he serves as an Elder. He has been married to his lovely wife, Teresa Pearson Edwards, for 36 years and is the father of three adult children, Lamar, Brandon, Jasmine, and a granddaughter (Jaida).