March 3rd, 2009 2:32 PM by Uletas Greene Carter
I was shocked and profoundly grieved to hear about the untimely death of Kenny. I feel privileged to have counted Kenny as a friend who embraced me with words of hope and encouragement during one of the darkest hours of my life. Kenny was a caring and compassionate human being. My heartfelt condolences are with the the Garner family during this difficult time. The world has lost someone very special.--Uletas Greene Carter
March 1, 2009
Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Kenneth Otto Garner, who played a central role in helping diversify the LAPD, improve the agency’s ties to minority communities and stem crime in South L.A., died unexpectedly at home early Sunday. He was 53 and had spent nearly 32 years in an LAPD uniform.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department has not determined the cause of death, although people close to Garner said they believed it to be heart failure.
Police Chief William J. Bratton praised Garner’s service, highlighting his work as commander in charge of recruitment at the start of the department’s ongoing push to increase its ranks, as well as his efforts since taking over the LAPD’s South Bureau a year ago. Garner largely will be remembered, Bratton said, for his success in improving the relationship between officers and the black and Latino communities they serve, which for decades had been strained by distrust and fear.
After holding an array of positions in the department, including command posts in the Foothill area of the San Fernando Valley and on the city’s Westside, the assignment to South Bureau marked a return to the streets where Garner had grown up.
“He grew up at a time when the department he loved so much wasn’t loved in these neighborhoods,” Bratton said. “He committed his professional life to changing that.”
In recent months Garner, the second highest ranking black officer in the department, had launched an unusual program in cooperation with local community groups aimed at helping young men re-enter society after being released from prison. The first group of convicts in the program will soon be released, Bratton said, adding that he believed it would have grown into Garner’s proudest achievement. “Instead, it will be his legacy,” Bratton said.
Garner was born in Hot Springs, Ark. He is survived by his daughter and his parents. -- The Los Angeles Times