Juno Beach's Major Paul Fertig, Sgt. Steve Smith are 'Above and Beyond' honorees at 2017 LEO Awards

JUNO BEACH, Fla. - News Channel 5 is profiling several honorees at the 2017 Law Enforcement Awards.

This year, Major Paul Fertig and Sergeant Steve Smith of the Juno Beach Police are this year’s ‘Above and Beyond Honorees.’


There's a lot that sets Juno Beach apart.

“It's a little different, I suppose, than some of the larger communities,” says Sergeant Steve Smith with the Juno Beach Police Department.

It provides a unique opportunity for law enforcement in town.

“We have an opportunity to really reach out to some of our residents here,” Sgt. Smith says.

It’s an opportunity to not only reach out but reach up.

For Sgt. Smith and Major Paul Fertig, their story begins with a bond they formed with a woman six years ago; a woman who needed help.

“She had many challenges, personal challenges,” Major Fertig says. “She was alone, she was abandoned by her family, friends, neighbors. And she had nobody to turn to.”

She had no food, no running water, and on top of that, her home was days away from foreclosure. 

That's when the two jumped in by arranging meal deliveries and buying her groceries with their own money.

This year, they also stepped up to become the woman's advocate in court.

“We were able to get Palm Beach County courts involved and testify on her behalf and stay her foreclosure,” Major Fertig says.

The home was listed and sold, and the money helped the woman get back on her feet.

“It's just a very good, positive thing,” Major Fertig says.

These officers with a big-hearted gesture in their small community; a textbook example of going above and beyond.

If you ask them, however, they were just doing their job.

“A lot of times it's not seen every day, but it's a pleasure to serve and be part of the community,” Major Fertig says.

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