Former Jaguars WR now a decorated sheriff’s officer

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There is no shortage of ex-NFL players who chose to become police officers or firefighters following their playing careers, perhaps none more visibly than former Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins. His passion for service outweighed his love for football.

Ernest Wilford did not leave football to pursue a new field.

But based on an award he received Thursday, he has a knack for it.

The former Jaguars wide receiver was honored with a Peer Achievement Award from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office he serves. He joined the department last March because he “wanted to serve the people in the community who cheered him on in his previous profession, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Wilford played for the Jaguars from 2004 to 2007 and again in 2009 and 2010.

The newspaper cited a number of actions prompting the accolade.

The list includes Wilford responding to a domestic disturbance situation that involved an “unruly son.” Its root issue was the son not having a job. Wilford spoke to a local restaurant employee, who helped arrange a job for the teen. On another call, Wilford arranged a dentist from his church to meet with a woman who reported significant pain but could not afford dental care. The woman previously threatened suicide, per the report.

Such community work would not generate a headline if not for Wilford’s NFL background.

So, if nothing else, it’s a reminder that the most positive efforts from public service workers often go unnoticed to the greater public.

24 responses to “Former Jaguars WR now a decorated sheriff’s officer

  1. This website needs to publish more stories like this, of the good guys, instead of wasting so much time on losers like Hardy and Kaepernik and To.

  2. Right on, good to hear. Wiford caught me a few TDs in fantasy football over the years. Now I have something better to remember him for…

    …other than that whole getting tasered and arrested thing from a few years ago.

  3. Great story. I always love to read about former players who make a positive impact on others after their playing days are over. Keep them coming!

  4. I played golf one time in Jacksonville and the starter told me that Ernest Wilford had gone out earlier after I mentioned I was a ST holder. On the third hole EW drove out to the green to say hello to me and gave me his cell phone #, telling me to call him if I needed anything. True story.

  5. I was kind of hoping this was about Justin Blackmon. Good for Wilford though; he had a pretty beastly physique for a WR, he will probably make an intimidating officer.

  6. As a retired detective, in the patrol days, I would get flagged down and invited to dinner, or introduced to family, with people I had arrested.

    Most guys (N-East cops are all I know) are good guys. Some go the extra mile like Wilford.

    I hope he never has to use his gun. I hope the despair of the children, elderly and animals in certain neighborhoods doesn’t ‘get’ to him like most people.

    The hardest part to swallow is you can’t save everyone. You will lost your mind if you try He’s still a probationary cop but he’s off to a good start.

    Former NY Met Stan Jefferson became an NYPD cop and he was instantly put in a PR situation. Similar to what the Chargers are doing the LT2.

    Watkins was a bust, easy to say I’d rather be a fireman after the fact. Only he knows but don’t use him front and center. He is not the poster boy.

    See if Wilford is still on patrol or makes Sgt and is still making a difference 20 years from now. The first 10 are easy the last 10 are impossible to explain.

    If that day comes, then he won’t need your accolades or be a poster person. He will have done right by people because of who he is and what the life he wanted to lead. Just like many (not nearly all) of us.

  7. Good story, but why make an unsubstantiated claim that it was only due to his NFL career that this made a headline? Maybe on sites such as this – as in a site that covers his previous profession – as stories such as this are often picked up locally as they are seriously feel good events.

  8. whenwilliteverend says:
    Mar 30, 2017 6:22 PM
    This website needs to publish more stories like this, of the good guys, instead of wasting so much time on losers like Hardy and Kaepernik and To.
    ——————————————————————–
    Kapernick has given over 50,000 to help starving Africans when the Trump Administration and you have not given one cent… He donated shoes to the homeless and gave millions in charity to poor communities… don’t let your jingoism belie the facts!

  9. So glad to read this. I’m happy for him and he’s obviously very good at it.

    Thank you for caring kid… we really appreciate that!

  10. He was an overachiever at Jax. Signed that bigger deal at Miami and got his money. For whatever reason he was viewed as a flop.

    First class dude who was a reliable target for Garard. Was part of our last playoff victory in 2007 @Pittsburgh.

  11. judalation says:
    Mar 31, 2017 2:58 AM
    whenwilliteverend says:
    Mar 30, 2017 6:22 PM
    This website needs to publish more stories like this, of the good guys, instead of wasting so much time on losers like Hardy and Kaepernik and To.
    ——————————————————————–
    Kapernick has given over 50,000 to help starving Africans when the Trump Administration and you have not given one cent…
    ________________
    Since January, the United States has paid over 1 billion dollars to the United Nations health fund, World Health Fund and UNICEF. It’s called Google bro. Last year, the Trump foundation made nearly 200 million dollars in charitable donations. Honestly, I can’t stand the guy, but people who run their mouths on a subject with no context or knowledge are more detrimental to this country than he is.

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