Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Several retired senior police officers who served as mentors to Anthony 'Tony' Hewitt yesterday paid homage to him as a fearless investigator who had a kind heart.
They recounted contrasting tales ranging from Hewitt leading the hunt for members of the notorious 'Hot Steppas' gang that wreaked havoc across the Corporate Area in the 1970s to the scores of women and children from the inner cities who constantly converged on his offices seeking assistance.
"He was quite fearless ... he would go to places that others would not want to fly over," recalled Sam McKay, a retired deputy commissioner of police.
Former Assistant Commissioner Garnett Daley went a step further, describing Hewitt as "one of the best crime fighters this country has seen".
"He would take on any gang," Daley recalled.
Got along with people
But despite his reputation as a tough, street-smart detective, former Deputy Commissioner Dick Hibbert said Hewitt was a fair law enforcer who had a knack for getting along with people.
"So even if he arrested the most dangerous man they actually parted ways with a smile," Hibbert told The Gleaner.
He recalled that the former senior superintendent was very fond of children and was adored by the majority of the persons he encountered while on duty.
"If we are going into some of the most depressed areas he would always bring gifts for the children," Hibbert recalled.
Senior Superintendent Dudley Bryan, who served with Hewitt at the Police Traffic Division during their early days in the force, agreed with Hibbert.
"There was never a minute that I could sit without Tony bringing a man in who has committed themselves (broke the law)," he said.
"But he would sometimes exercise his discretion and would give you a break and warn you not to let it happen again," he added.
Sam McKay, a former deputy commissioner, said Hewitt was "very comfortable with people of every strata".
"He was a good teacher and he was very kind-hearted. He was a professional policeman who was fair," recalled McKay.