AS the throng of mourners filed into the Portmore Seventh-Day Adventist Church in St Catherine to pay tribute to the life of Sergeant Leachman Gurdon last Sunday, it was clear that his life had touched persons from all walks of life.
“If you look at the wide cross section of persons who are coming to this funeral you will notice that Gurdon was a real people person,” one cop who stood outside the church said.
Members of the constabulary were caught off guard when Gurdon, affectionately called ‘Ian’ or ‘Cop 2000’, died suddenly in the barracks room at the Matilda’s Corner police station on September 17.
On Sunday as cops and civilians filed past Gurdon’s body which lay in an immaculate casket at the entrance to the church, it was evident that Jamaica had lost one of its brightest sons.
In a message which was printed on the funeral programme Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, hailed Gurdon.
“The tragic death of Sergeant Leachman Gurdon has indeed left a void in the hearts of many, having served in law enforcement for most of his adult life,” Ellington said.
Gurdon will be remembered for his jocular ways and the smiles he brought to many face inside and outside the constabulary.
Head of the Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson described Gurdon as a stalwart servant, a caring and responsible father.
“Gurdon blazed a trail of giving service in a professional manner. We have lost a dependable friend who carried his duties with humility,” Wilson said.
After attending the Mountain View Primary, the Waterford Primary and St Catherine high schools, Gurdon joined the Island Special Constabulary Force in May 1990 and eventually transferred to the Jamaica Constabulary Force in May 1998.
He was assigned to the St Andrew North Police Division and soon became part of a special squad set up to tackle criminals who were threatening to wreak havoc in the heavily populated division.
Soon his leadership skills came to fore and he was soon assigned as the constable to lead a team.
Gurdon’s special squad also tackled gunmen in the tough neighbourhood of August Town when gang wars resulted in the loss of several lives and many shootings.
He was also assigned as the transport manager for the Half- Way-Tree Police Station fleet of service vehicles.
After seven years as a constable Gurdon was promoted to Corporal in 2005 and again promoted to Sergeant four years later.
During his time as a cop, Gurdon was the recipient of 11 commendations.
He was assigned to the Matilda’s Corner Police Station in 2010 and served there until the time of his passing.
“He was fearless tenacious and tough. In the same breath he was passionate and understanding. He was a workaholic who had excellent interpersonal skills. Sergeant Gurdon was a motivator,” a representative who read the eulogy on behalf of Head of the St Andrew North Police Division Superintendent Derrick ‘Cowboy’ Knight.
Gurdon’s brother, Orville Morgan, remembered the good times they shared during their childhood days as he hailed his brother.
“My brother was brave and courageous. My brother to me was a maverick,” he said.
Sergeant Leachman Paul Gurdon is survived by his wife Charmaine, three children and a stepdaughter.
His remains were interred at Mount Pleasant, Portland.