MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The New Year has started with Manchester saying goodbye to two popular senior policemen, Assistant Commissioner Derrick Cochrane, who headed Police Area 3 (St Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon) and Superintendent Lascelles Taylor who was in charge of Manchester.
The two, who are off on pre-retirement leave, have been replaced by Senior Superintendent Derrick Knight (Area 3) and Superintendent Marlon Nesbeth (Manchester).
Appreciative journalists from the Press Association of Jamaica's Central Chapter held a function in honour of Cochrane and Taylor at the Mandeville Hotel last Thursday, where the two were hailed for their commitment to duty, integrity, dignity, respect for others and willingness to build bridges with the media and the wider public.
"He was never too busy to speak to you... and would always return a call," chapter president Glendon Baker said of Cochrane.
Knight joined journalists in praising the contribution of Cochrane and Taylor, saying he would seek to follow in their footsteps, especially as regards relations with the media and the wider public. "The partnership and the dialogue will continue," he said.
Knight, nicknamed 'Cowboy', told journalists that his leadership of Area 3 would be characterised by strong police presence on the ground and frequent anti-crime operations.
Cochrane, meanwhile, urged a continuation of close links between the police and the public in south central Jamaica, pointing to the value of neighbourhood watch programmes which he has consistently contended can be the driving force in rapidly reducing criminal activity.
He argued that police and journalists could function in partnership as long as there was mutual respect and a sense of "reasonableness and responsibility in the dissemination of information".
Cochrane and Taylor were also honoured by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce recently.