- As a teacher, Ava Lindo was called ‘Miss’ by her students, but today as a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), she is referred to as ‘Sergeant’.
- Come March 19, Sgt. Lindo will complete 20 years in the JCF, having joined the force in 1997. Over the years, she has received many awards while serving at the national and international levels and giving quality service to her community and the people of Jamaica.
- The Lasco top cop says parents need to play a greater role in their child’s development and “to train them in the way that they are to go, so that when they get older they will not depart from the training”.
As a teacher, Ava Lindo was called ‘Miss’ by her students, but today as a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), she is referred to as ‘Sergeant’.
“I never wanted to become a police officer. I love teaching so much and I was looking forward to a career in teaching,” she tells JIS News, noting that she taught at a private high school in May Pen, Clarendon.
Nevertheless, Sgt. Lindo says she submitted the application and did the examinations required to enter the force. Her doubts soon vanished when the acceptance letter was delivered to her by a police officer.
“I was told to pack my bags and go to the academy the following Sunday, three days after receiving the notice. I did what I had to do, packed my bags and went, and here I am,” she adds.
Come March 19, Sgt. Lindo will complete 20 years in the JCF, having joined the force in 1997.
Over the years, she has received many awards while serving at the national and international levels and giving quality service to her community and the people of Jamaica.
Sgt. Lindo has served in the Mobile Reserve, the Commissioner’s office, and the Statistic Unit of the JCF, where she had the opportunity to attend statistics and computer training courses.
Currently serving in the Inspectorate of Constabulary, an arm of the JCF that conducts administrative investigations and examines complaints by the public, she has had memorable experiences representing Jamaica overseas.
In 2004, Sgt. Lindo, along with a 10-member JCF team, travelled to Liberia, Africa, to participate in a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.
They were assigned to the Liberia National Police Academy to support the implementation of the peace process and to conduct human rights activities and national security reform.
“I was instrumental in establishing policies and procedures for rebuilding police stations,” she notes, adding that she also served as Gender Officer in the Recruitment Unit and Team Leader in the Mentor Department.
“I was always working with people in the mentorship programme, talking with the locals and talking with the trainees who had been through so much during the civil war,” Sgt. Lindo tells JIS News.
She remembers speaking with women who were gang-raped and experienced other atrocities, such as the death of family members.
“I had sessions with people who just wanted to talk and I would just sit and listen, and sometimes I held their hands,” she recalls.
Another overseas trip was in March 2016 when she represented the JCF on an Intervention Strategies for Domestic and Gender-Based Violence course at the International Law Enforcement Academy, in San Salvador, El Salvador, for six weeks.
“I had the opportunity of speaking with children from a community there and I handed out books and items that had messages denouncing violence against children,” she notes.
Among her prized possessions is the 2015 Lasco/Jamaica Constabulary Force Police Officer of the Year award. Sgt. Lindo says she was chosen from a field of 11 police officers from various divisions.
“I didn’t think I would win, as all the finalists were equally geared towards winning, because they were doing projects and also had the potential and ability and could have easily won the competition,” she adds.
She has high praises for the Lasco Group of Companies for seeing the need to award police officers and “allowing Jamaicans and the world to see that police officers are indeed serving, protecting and reassuring”.
Sgt. Lindo, who has received Domestic Violence Intervention training, is now part of a team conducting similar training in St Mary.
The programme, which was started last year by the Acting Commissioner of Police, Ms. Novelette Grant, is targeting community members from neighbourhood watches and police youth clubs.
She says the plan is to have “one person in every corner of Jamaica spreading messages of peace”.
Sgt. Lindo says community members can give some level of attendance to victims of domestic violence until professional help arrives.
“If we are able to do this, then there will be one less murder or one less wounding incident. So, the aim is to de-escalate violence and prevent anything from happening, and if that happens, then the murder rate will go down,” she notes.
The Lasco top cop says parents need to play a greater role in their child’s development and “to train them in the way that they are to go, so that when they get older they will not depart from the training”.
She argues that the society cannot have caring husbands and loving wives and men who are domesticated, if boys are not taught how. “It’s a holistic approach in order to stem this domestic violence that has escalated so much,” she adds.
Sgt. Lindo is grateful that the Inspector General and team members have seen the need for her to participate in the domestic violence training.
“They see that intervention is important, so they try to accommodate these training sessions and afford me the necessary time to be away from the desk,” she says.
Sgt. Lindo tells JIS News that her job is demanding, and she thanks God for the strength he has given her, adding that she also receives support from her relatives, church family and co-workers.
“Sometimes somebody will call and say ‘how are you doing?’, and that helps me in terms of knowing that somebody is really there for me. When I am caring for other people, there is somebody caring for me,” she says.