St Mary's top cop wants more resources for the youth
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
Leston Pinnock, a police inspector stationed in Gayle, St Mary, was honoured as the parish's Top Cop for 2014-2015 during an awards ceremony held last weekend at the Robins Bay Villa and Beach Resort.
Pinnock, who joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in 1983, also collected a trophy for Outstanding Performance and Leadership in Community Policing Initiatives, but is reluctant to take sole credit for reducing crime in his area.
Pinnock told Rural Xpress: "It feels great win awards, but in Gayle, we work as a team, so it's not totally about me. I believe those awards are really for the people working at the station because I put forward initiatives, but they definitely carry out the groundwork.
"I must really say thanks to the administration because they have given me a great team, which makes me feel very confident."
Pinnock was born and raised in Mango Valley, a short distance from where he now works, and has served in several JCF divisions, including the mobile reserves, Highway Patrol, and at Area 2 Headquarters.
He describes himself as a people person who derives great pleasure from serving his country, and as president of the St Mary Cricket Association and a director on the Jamaica Cricket Board, he believes sport can be a useful tool to develop greater community cohesion.
Pinnock explained: "In Gayle, we have various sporting competitions and play a lot of soccer. In fact, sometime ago, I was more of a soccer fan and was part of the St Mary Football Association until I transferred to cricket.
"I think football is the most popular sport in my community right now, but cricket is also important because it helps to mould people together. When we have our cricket competitions across the parish, everybody from the various communities knows each other. There is no violence and no need for any police presence; it?s a just a fun day for the family.
"In terms of bringing people together, I really think we need better playing fields and courts for the youngsters in our area because sports is one of the greatest vehicles for integration and helping people from different communities to live as one.
"I believe a lot more development is needed with things like cricket, football, basketball, and track and field because sport is a great motivator in Jamaica."
Looking ahead, Pinnock will continue to nurture and train his team of officers, and encourages any suitable young people considering joining the force to apply.
The award-winning lawman said: ?When it comes to serving the people of Gayle and Jamaica, we're just going to keep on working and continuing to grow, so when any of the officers move on to other police stations or divisions, they will bring with them whatever they have learned.
"In terms of job opportunities, a police officer is one of the better careers because it's stable. It's something you can really plan your future around, and there are so many different sections and departments that you can always fit into one."