Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Ret’d ACP Pusey remembered as fearless crime-fighter

Published:Tuesday | May 2, 2023 | 1:26 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer

A FEARLESS crime-fighter who operated without fear or favour, and one who led his team on some of the most dangerous operations, is how retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Donald Pusey, who died yesterday, was remembered by former police commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin.

Lewin, who served as chief of staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) before taking over leadership of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), worked indirectly with Pusey during police-military operations before taking command of the JCF, which gave him the opportunity to interact with the senior policeman directly.

“Mr Pusey was a very serious and hard-working policeman. He was always inclined to take on the most difficult operations. When I was chief of staff he would always lead the police team in some of those major operations and operated without fear or favour,” Rear Admiral Lewin told The Gleaner.

In May 2004, then Superintendent Pusey was part of the police-military team which captured Jamaica’s most wanted man, Joel Andem, in a surprise predawn operation. The much-feared Andem, who was wanted for murder and extortion, among other charges, “trembled like a badly tuned truck” when he realised that he was at the mercy of the lawmen, according to Pusey.

By 2005, he was promoted to senior superintendent and put in charge of the Special Anti-Crime Task Force. He found himself embroiled in controversy while testifying at the trial of Senior Superintendent Reneto Adams and the other five policemen charged with the murder of four civilians at Kraal, Clarendon, on May 7, 2003.

Pusey was also involved in the operation in which Clansman gang leader, Donovan ‘Bulbie’ Bennett, was killed.

That year he was among the senior crime-fighters who celebrated the record number of firearms seized from criminals, which up to December 11, stood at 653, surpassing the 640 confiscated the year before. Pusey believed in the effectiveness of intelligence-led operations and said as much.

“It is the intelligence-led police and military operations through information from Kingfish that has allowed us to retrieve more guns from criminal elements ... the Caribbean Search Centre has played a vital role in this from the inception,” Pusey said in the wake of that success.

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, another former chief of staff of the JDF, spoke to the professional approach of the late ACP.

“Though I am sure he had his personal political views, when it came down to his operations, he conducted himself without fear or favour, no matter who the criminal was,” Brady, who is now director general, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, told The Gleaner.

Rear Admiral Brady also maintained a friendship with ACP Pusey after his retirement.

“Since then I have been in touch with him and went to see him several times at his residence and took him out on two occasions,” he shared. “Whenever we went out I would always call several other members of the JCF whom he knew well, just to connect with them.”