KINGSTON — Colourful Assistant Commissioner of Police Keith Trinity Gardner retired from the Jamaica Constabulary Force today — his 60th birthday.
Gardner, who has been on secondment to the University of the West Indies as its director of security, will continue to serve the UWI in that capacity, and the qualified attorney will also still practise law.
“Turbulent,” was how the one-time bodyguard of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga described his 40 years, four months and 12 days in the Jamaica Constabulary Force when the Jamaica Observer contacted him yesterday.
Known as a crime fighter who never settled for mediocrity, Gardner who was shot five separate times by criminals, earned a reputation as a fearless policeman who stood up to some of Jamaica’s notorious gangsters at times when they threatened the island with anarchy.
Among the names which will be mentioned alongside his in standing up to criminals are the late Anthony Tony Hewitt, Isaiah Laing, Reneto Adams, Cornwall Bigga Ford, Derrick Cowboy Knight, Arthur Stitch Martin, Donald Pusey, Hector Bingy White, and Terrence Bent, among others.
“I have no regrets,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “I have been shot several times, involved in traffic accidents, recovered hundreds of guns, secured convictions for criminals and made a whole heap of friends and more enemies.
“I am smiling. I joined the force without any recognition and over the years achieved a lot, including the medal of gallantry, and so many other honours in such little time,” he added.
In a previous interview Gardner said that the police force had taught him many lessons of life.
“It has been good. The force has been good to me. I am blessed, because since graduation in 1971 from Kingston College I have never been without a job. I went back to Kingston College to work in the biology department as a lab technician, just out of school, so it is really good that you have never been unemployed and to be in a job for almost 41 years shows consistency,” he said.
“I joined the force at a time when it was not fashionable as a Kingston College graduate to become a member of the force and to use that to my own benefit where you can go and experience things like being with kings and princesses all over the world.
“The beauty of it is that people like to put you in a myopic category, even within your own force, and that is what has driven me to success to make the transformation from crime fighter to academic,” Gardner said then. (Observer)