Last week Hello Bethel profiled Lt. Richard Dickinson, who retired after 37 years with the Bethel Police Department. This week, we are shining the spotlight on retiring officer Sgt. Keith Mackenzie, who had been with the department for 25 years.
Sgt. Keith Mackenzie has had many roles with the Bethel Police Department. As a sergeant, he was in charge of the Emergency Service Unit team as well as bike patrol. Mackenzie was also an instructor in firearms, use of force, taser, and pepper spray. “Everything I did was for officer safety,” he said. “At the end of the day, I needed my officers to stay safe and get home to their families.”
Mackenzie worked to create training opportunities that were as realistic as possible. That included using fake blood and live action scenarios. Much of the training took place in buildings throughout the community, for which Mackenzie was grateful. “The community was always willing to help us and provide training space in empty buildings.”
His point of pride from his quarter century of service is Bethel’s participation in the Unity Tour. In this annual event, law enforcement officers from around the country ride their bikes from New Jersey to Washington, D.C., ending at the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. The goal of the ride is to raise awareness of officers who have fallen in the line of duty. In 2011, Mackenzie’s first year as a rider, he rode in honor of a fallen officer from Atchinson, KS. Over the years, he has maintained his bond with this officer’s family and colleagues and now considers them close friends. The Bethel Police Department had two riders participating this year, and Sgt. Mackenzie hopes the tradition continues into the future.
As for his next step, Sgt. Mackenzie is excited to be joining WestConn’s police force. “They have a brand new building, so at least I’m not missing out!” he joked.
Sgt. Mackenzie, thank you for your service to the town of Bethel.