Chief “Jim” Richard Williams

Collier County Sheriff ’s Office chief was recently recognized for a lifetime of service by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce.

Chief James “Jim” Richard Williams received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the annual Distinguished Public Service breakfast at the Hilton Naples. He was joined by Cpl. Natalie Ashby, who was also recognized for her work with the agency.

The two CCSO agency members were recognized alongside winners in the EMS and firefighter categories.

This is the first time the Chamber has presented a Distinguished Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vicki Tracy, a longtime friend of Chief Williams and the executive director of sales and marketing for The Arlington, nominated him for the award. She said his selfless nature and can-do attitude earned him her praise and this much-deserved recognition.

“He just exemplifies leadership and service in my book,” Tracy said. “He’s just one of the greatest guys. I think our town is a better place because of his service.”

Chief Williams joined CCSO in June of1996, fresh from a military career. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966 to 1996, retiring at the rank of Colonel.

His assignments included two combat tours of duty in Vietnam and tours in command, staff, education and training. He served also as the deputy inspector general of the Marine Corps and the Secretary of the Navy’s senior investigator for Marine Corps matters.

After joining CCSO, Chief Williams attended the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Academy where he graduated with honors. He served as the class president and also earned the Bennett Award for outstanding leadership.

Following the academy, he obtained his certification as a law enforcement officer. Two years later Chief Williams was named the agency’s inspector. In 2000,he was promoted to captain and began overseeing the newly formed Professional Responsibility and Training Division. He assumed his current duties as chief of investigations in 2006. His responsibilities now include criminal investigations, vice and narcotics, intelligence, homeland security and acting as liaison with federal agencies.

“Chief Williams goes above and beyond to support our community and is often found in the roles that are not part of his professional service,” said Naples Daily News publisher Bill Barker, who presented him with the award. “He will help anyone who needs it no matter what time of day or night. He’s a wonderful asset to this community, for sure. Chief Williams’ humbleness and sincerity makes him a fantastic first responder, resident and friend in our community.”

Upon accepting his award, Chief Williams addressed the crowd briefly.

“It is truly a pleasure to be able to live here and it is absolutely a privilege to be able to serve, and that’s the driving factor behind all of it,” he said. “Thank you.”

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