‘Bigga’ Ford retires
BY KIMMO MATTTHEWS Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Superintendent Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford, one of Jamaica’s most colourful crime fighters who has served the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for close to 40 years, driving fear into the hearts of some of the country’s most notorious criminals, has retired.
Yesterday afternoon, the 57-year-old Ford, who is currently in charge of the Kingston Western Police Division, confirmed his retirement but was unable, at the time he spoke with the
Jamaica Observer, to speak about his future plans.
"Yes, it is true. The time has come, and I have no problem with it," said Ford, who joined the JCF in the 1970s and is now on pre-retirement leave.
Last night, reliable sources in the police high command told the
Observer that Ford’s retirement will become effective in early January 2016.
His retirement closes the chapter on a generation of fearless crime fighters – among them Tony Hewitt, Keith ‘Trinity’ Gardner, Donald Pusey, and later, Reneto Adams – who have all left the JCF.
Reports of Ford’s plan to retire first surfaced in 2012. In an interview with
Observer at the time, Ford said he intended to take early retirement by the time he turned 55. He said he had already communicated that intention to his superiors.
"I am doing 35 years in the police force, but I soon cut (leave)," said Ford, who got the nickname ‘Bigga’ on account of him being heavyset.
"I have done it all. I have had some good times in the police force. If I had my life to live over again, I would do the same thing of joining the police force, but I would do some things better. Out of experience and maturity when you look back at your life you would improve on some things," Ford said in that interview.
"The police force has made me and I have made my contribution. I have made my mark. The police force as an institution is not a bad thing. It’s just that you have some police in it who are wicked and bad-minded. You have people of all different values and standards," added Ford, who, during his years of service faced off with some of the countries most notorious criminals such as Wayne ‘Sandokhan’ Smith, Anthony ‘General Starkey’ Tingle, Nathaniel ‘Natty’ Morgan, and Christopher ‘Natty Chris’ Henry.
In the 2012 interview, Ford had said that although he had arrested many people, none had been more painful than apprehending a policeman.
"No policeman is above the law. If you commit a crime, one day, one day, things will catch up with you," Ford stated.
He also said that he was looking forward to grandchildren and "living some good life".
"I would like to live even 10 or 15 years after I have left the police force. I don’t want to just leave the police force and drop down dead," he had said and dismissed suggestions that he could be a marked man upon retirement.
"No, man. Nothing like that. It’s how you treat people. If people see that you are fair and just, no matter how wicked they are, a man is going to say ‘bwoy, mi did a commit crime, but the big man did deal with mi how him fi deal with mi’," Ford said.
Yesterday, several of his colleagues heaped praises on the officer, hailing him as a national crime fighter who was always ready to go above and beyond the call of duty for his colleagues.
"He was someone who you can talk to; he was someone who was always there for you. He was never afraid to offer support to his colleagues no matter where they are stationed," said Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, head of the St James Police Division, whom Ford succeeded at Kingston Western.
"We wish him all the best, knowing that he served so well. Hats off to him for his years of service," said McGregor.
Newly appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police George Quallo, who was in charge of Area Four, which includes the Kingston Western Police Division, said Ford made his mark as a crime fighter, noting that he (Ford) spent a lot of time in St Andrew North and, after that, at the Flying Squad.
"He is also known for his investigating skills. He is one of those astute investigators, very good at his craft," Quallo said, adding that he was proud to have served alongside Ford.
"It is not very easy to find someone to fit in his shoe," said Quallo.