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Hewitt remembered as one of Jamaica's greatest crime fighters

Published:Sunday | October 7, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Superintendent of Police Cornwall 'Bigga' Ford (left), head of the Flying Squad, and retired Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Hector 'Bingie' White greet each other at the thanksgiving service for the life of retired SSP Anthony 'Tony' Hewitt, held at the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew yesterday. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Pall-bearers from the Jamaica Constabulary Force take the coffin containing the body of retired Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony 'Tony' Hewitt from the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew while mourners look on during his funeral yesterday.- Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Whether it was an operation to apprehend dangerous criminals or a simple
game of dominoes, slain retired Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony
'Tony' Hewitt was remembered yesterday as a tough crime fighter who
never lost the common touch.

Friends and former colleagues yesterday recounted their experiences with retired Senior Superintendent of Police Anthony 'Tony' Hewitt, from his steely resolve while pursuing criminals, his interactions with prisoners complaining about their conditions in custody, to the playful taunts during his weekly domino games with friends.

The tributes came during a thanksgiving service held at the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew, where hundreds of mourners joined relatives to say goodbye to the man many described as one of the country's 'greatest' crime fighters.

"Walk good Tony, walk good my friend," said retired Superintendent Artice Brown-Getton, in one of the more sombre moments.

Brown-Getton, who was the only female member of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) when she served with Hewitt, recalled how he saved her life during an operation in the 1980s.

She recounted how she was manning her position during the operation when she heard Hewitt shouting instructions over the police-issued two-way radio, "Artice, move now. You are a target".

"I moved and immediately after I heard an explosion... . I thought it was a bomb," she said, as she spoke of her love and admiration for her former colleague.

A wake-up call

Former Deputy Commissioner in charge of crime Sam McKay said for more than 40 years, Hewitt placed his life on the line by spending several hours at nights battling "the common foe" of crime.

"His murder is a wake-up call ... awakening us to what is happening around us," McKay said.

Hewitt was shot and killed by gunmen after he drove into an apartment complex on Donmair Close in St Andrew last month.

No one has been held in connection with the killing and Brown-Getton pleaded with the perpetrators to turn themselves in and "don't wait until it is too late".

Former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Kent Pantry brought a light moment to the service when he spoke of Hewitt's domino skills.

"When he had systematically set up a double to be killed, he would use certain expressions ... 'death trap', 'rat trap', or 'death wish part 2'," Pantry recalled to much laughter.

"When he made a play that would cause problems for opponents he would say to them before playing, 'A goin' give you something fi choke you," the former DPP added.

Hewitt, born on September 13, 1943, died three days after his 69th birthday.