LASCO top cop taking things in stride
THE THUNDEROUS applause that greeted the announcement that Detective Woman Sergeant Ava Lindo was the LASCO/JCF Police Officer of the Year 2015-2016 gave some indication of the overwhelming popularity of the veteran cop, whose effective, hands-on approach to policing has positively impacted thousands of lives, including many well beyond the shores of Jamaica.
Even after the function had ended Tuesday afternoon, journalists were kept waiting as members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) sought out their colleague for selfies to celebrate this life-changing achievement. However, though elated and caught up in the excitement of the moment, the veteran cop was looking forward to a quiet evening of celebration with her favourite family member.
"I think I just want to go somewhere and sit with my daughter, because she has been a tower of strength. We have been through some challenging times together and I know that the people at work, the staff here have really, really supported me wholeheartedly, especially the management team. Everybody gave me their support. There are people over there from other divisions who gave me their support, but I think I just want to really sit with her and for us to just look at all of this ..." she told The Gleaner by telephone.
Keretha Walters, who is Lindo's adult daughter, had some idea about they would spend that time.
"We're going to church to give thanks first," she told The Gleaner from the floor of the Grand Jamaica Suite, Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, shortly after Lindo was announced as the newest LASCO/JCF ambassador at the annual awards luncheon.
A member of the Inspectorate of Constabulary Division, Lindo topped nine men and a woman to cop a $250,000 cash prize, Police of the Year Trophy, plaque, certificate and LASCO food basket. First runner-up Sergeant Randy Sweeney from St Catherine North Division collected $200,000, a trophy, plaque, certificate and food basket from LASCO, with Sergeant Christopher Ward of the St Mary division receiving $100,000, a trophy, plaque, certificate and LASCO food basket.
Lindo, who has long been involved in community policing in the communities of Tivoli, Trench Town and Torrington Park, also received a thumbs up from the public, securing more than 2,600 of the 7,000 votes on the LASCO Distributors Facebook page.
Having left the classroom to join the Jamaica Constabulary Force in 1997, the former pre-trained teacher at May Pen High School, Clarendon, has served in the various divisions such as the Mobile Reserve and Crime Statistics. Currently pursuing a degree in theology, she is in high demand as a mediator, mentor and caregiver in several communities and she is kept very busy outside of policing duties.