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Sergeant Linroy Edwards of the Special Anti-Crime Task Force is the LASCO Top Cop for 2006.
At the sixth annual LASCO/Jamaica Constabulary Force awards ceremony held yesterday (Feb. 13) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, the top cop, who was selected from a field of 10 lawmen, received a three-year scholarship valued at $300,000, cash prize of $200,000 and a trophy. Sergeant Gary McKenzie of the Traffic Division was the first runner-up, while Constable Julio Francis of the Area 1 police placed third. Both men received cash awards totalling $100,000 and $50,000 respectively, while Sergeant McKenzie received a one-year scholarship valued at $100,000.
“I am so surprised because the other contestants were equally qualified and deserving of the award. I am very honoured to receive this award,” Sergeant Edwards said in his acceptance speech. Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, noted that this award was an indication that levels of trust and confidence still existed between the police force and private sector groups. He noted that trust and confidence in the basic systems and structures within the society were pivotal to the building of social capital, sustaining the principles of democracy and ensuring the nation’s overall growth and development. “This partnership is a monumental undertaking that will result in boosting the morale that the police force needs and enhance the efforts to rebuild trust between the public, the police and other entities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for National Security, Dr. Donald Rhodd, urged other private sector groups to show their appreciation to the men and women, who placed their lives on the line in the fight against crime. “This initiative by LASCO is indeed worthy of emulation. This programme has been a tremendous success since its initiation and has widened the scope of development for awardees through the promotion to higher ranks or other positions within the Constabulary Force,” he stated.
Dr. Rhodd noted that the policemen and women were a credit to their families, their communities, as well as their country and charged them to become role models for young people in the society. “Jamaican youths need role models. There is not a day when we are not reminded of their exceptional talents particularly on the playing field and on the cultural stage.for too long, they have come under the pernicious influence of criminal elements in their communities. So reach out and touch the life of some young person, who can be saved from a life of crime,” he urged. Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Nigel Harris, commended LASCO for offering the first and second place recipients the chance to further their educational studies, noting that the UWI was in the process of establishing an Institute for Crime, Security and Justice.
Meanwhile, Lascelles Chin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the LASCO Group of Companies, commended the awardees and encouraged all police personnel to uphold the law.
“All law abiding citizens are counting on you to give exemplary service at all times, to shun bribery, serve the nation with honesty, and respect others and yourself. I urge all law officers to stay focused and unyielding in providing positive strategies, despite the odds .the nation needs you,” he stated. The LASCO Police Officer of the Year programme is part of the broader LASCO Ambassador initiative, which pays tribute to unsung heroes in several professions. These include teachers, principals, nurses and pharmacists.