Friday, January 31, 2014
Growing up in a rough area of Columbia could have sent PFC Antonio Gantt, Sr., 28, of Summerville down a drastically different path, he says.
Instead, he graduated from Charleston Southern University with a BS in Criminal Justice and a minor in Biology.
His choices were the result of his desire to change the public outlook of police officers and help the community, he says.
For six years, he’s been doing just that with the Summerville Police Department.
He spent two-and-a-half years with the patrol division before moving to traffic where he has been for the past three-and-a-half years. He is radar certified, DataMaster (breath analyzer) certified, a Standard Field Sobriety Test instructor, a state drug recognition expert, certified with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a state traffic safety officer certified in collision investigation.
His worst experience, he says, was seeing his first suicide. “I didn’t sleep for three weeks.”
His best experiences, though, are going to talk with high schoolers in driver’s education classes. “I talk to them about drugs and alcohol impaired driving … I think they learn a lot,” he says.
His short term professional goal, he says, is to rise in the ranks and instruct more classes. Long term is to continue to move up and continue to help the Summerville community.
“And after I retire, I might like to teach college-level classes.”
When not on duty, he enjoys his children – Antonio, Jr., 5 and Kameron, 4.
“I try to spend time with the kids,” he says. He also likes to hang out with his Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers.
He is very into sports such as baseball and football and his teams are the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Cowboys.
He likes to play pick-up basketball, flag football and golf.
“I’m very competitive!” he says.
He likes to cook and “I think I’m pretty good…”
Gantt enjoys anything and everything active.
“I’m a big little kid. I like to go to the park [with his kids], play Nintendo with them and have a ‘boys weekend’ with them.”
His life goal is simple: “To be the best man I can be.”