Addressing the twelve (12) 2016-2017 LASCO Top Cop finalists during a courtesy call to the Governor General recently, the businessman stressed that the Top Cop hopefuls should try to positively influence the small percentage of 'bad cops' in the force. "Unfortunately, we have a few cops that might be tarnishing the force. I categorically say to you, speak to them and try to correct them. But speak to them at the time of the incident."
According to Chin, "Top Cops set very high standards, not only for the police force but for Jamaica."
His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, Governor General of Jamaica, explains that LASCO's long term support of the initiative is necessary. "You (LASCO) have stuck to the task consistently, unwaveringly to show your commitment to the JCF; particularly to the enhancement, the commitment and the support to ensure that the men and women who serve in the JCF do so with a sense of the country's appreciation for the quality of service. We know that they are law abiding citizens. We know that they are men and women who hold to their commitment to serve this nation," says Allen.
Governor General, Sir Patrick Allen (fourth left) welcomes the 2016 LASCO Top Cop Finalists during the courtesy call held on Tuesday, March 8. Presenting the finalists is Bishop Dr. Gary Welsh, Assistant Commissioner of Police (second left). Looking on are Sgt. Nekisha Wright, JCF Youth Development Coordinator (left) and The Hon. Lascelles Chin, Executive Chairman and Founder of LASCO Affiliated Companies.
Although pre-requisites for consideration remained stringent this year, the removal of the age restriction welcomed a wider list of qualified applicants. Of note, is the absence of female finalists in this year's selection. There have been two consecutive female winners of the Police Officer of the Year competition in recent years - Corporal Hodel Harris, 2014-2015 and Detective Sergeant Lindo, 2015-2016. Twelve accomplished male members of the JCF are currently vying for the 2016-2017 sought-after title. Chin's words of encouragement for the illustrious contenders were "You gentlemen have a very steep challenge to outdo these ladies. I am proud of the ladies, they have done very well but, as a man myself, I want to see you do better. All of you should treasure this memory to make you a better cop."
While the issue of corruption within the police force remains despondent, LASCO and the JCF are using the annual project as a device to inject a more positive outlook and to impact the thought processes of current members of the JCF.
The 16th annual LASCO/Jamaica Constabulary Force Police Officer of the Year Awards 2016-2017 takes place this year on Wednesday, March 30 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The Police Officer of the Year Awards was established in 2000 through a partnership between LASCO and the JCF to publicly acknowledge the professionalism and dedication of the members of the force.