Deputy Laura Hernandez was born in Berin Springs, Michigan, and raised in LaBelle. She attended LaBelle Elementary, LaBelle Middle and LaBelle High School.
After graduating from LaBelle High, Hernandez enrolled at Edison Community College and attended classes for a few months. Needing a change of pace, she moved to Bradenton, for about a year.
Ready to get back to furthering her education, Hernandez returned to LaBelle and enrolled at Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW). She worked part-time during the day at an insurance company in Fort Myers, and attended FSW classes at night. After several years of hard work and determination, Hernandez obtained her Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree in 2015.
Later in 2015, with an A.A. Degree in her hand, Hernandez wanted to follow her dreams of entering the world of Law Enforcement. An opportunity arose when she was sponsored to go to Southwest Florida Public Service Academy. This sponsorship paid for the program, and allowed her to be a full-time student. After six months of coursework and training, Hernandez earned her Law Enforcement Certification in 2016.
In July of 2016, Deputy Hernandez was hired by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) as a Road Patrol Deputy. This is where she still serves today. She initially worked the night shift (which she still loves), but has since moved to the day shift. Although she still misses the uniqueness of the night shift, she stated that “the day shift allows me more time to interact with the community, and I really enjoy working with the kids.”
Although there is no such thing as a routine day in the life of a deputy, she usually finds herself patrolling the roads looking for speeders and reckless drivers. It is especially important to Deputy Hernandez to keep an eye on school bus stops and make sure our community’s children are safe. She performs business checks and gets to know the owners. She also conducts designated area checks to keep neighborhoods safe. Deputy Hernandez often responds to calls and must take reports at each incident. There are also times when she assists Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls.
Even though she has not been on the job for long, Deputy Hernandez has already dealt with a lot of scenarios in the short time she has been with the sheriff’s department. She noted, “some things have been pleasant, and some not very pleasant.” It’s the pleasant events that keep her coming back to work, serving the community and enjoying her job each day.
One highlight of her budding career occurred when she helped deliver a baby before emergency services could arrive. She still sees the child’s mother on occasion, and keeps tabs on his progress.
Deputy Hernandez’s parents migrated here from Mexico, and she has a strong bond with her family. She has four brothers, and is proud to be the first sibling to graduate from college. She is determined to continue furthering her education with hopes of eventually obtaining a Master’s Degree in the future.
Exercise, including working out and running, is a passion of Deputy Hernandez. She loves to travel, and has two places at the top of her to-do list. One day she plans to visit the Sears Tower in Chicago, IL. She also longs to have the chance to tour Europe. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and going to work in the groves with her dad so that she can get back to her roots. Putting God first, and spending time with her family is of the utmost importance for this deputy. She regularly attends her church, Iglesia El Faro.
Deputy Hernandez said she would like to thank the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office for giving her the opportunity to work for them. She noted that she is “striving to be an asset to them and to the community.” Although she misses her former shift partners, she stated that “I learned a lot from Sgt. Cameron and D/S Bayly. They are great role models and tremendous assets to the sheriff’s office.” She also recognized her admiration for her current shift partners as well as Sgt. Olvera, noting that “I love working with them, and I have been learning a lot from all of them as well.”
Our community should be proud of this homegrown law enforcement officer. It is refreshing to see our local citizens keep their talents at home, and continue to work toward positive changes in Hendry County. Deputy Hernandez’s roots here are strong, and it’s easy to see that she has set her sights on keeping our citizens safe.