Celebrating our cops

Medals awarded for long ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion

Talk of the Town - - Front Page - JON HOUZET

MORE than 130 medals were pre­sented to of­fi­cers and mem­bers of the SAPS Port Al­fred Clus­ter by East­ern Cape deputy provin­cial com­mis­sioner for man­age­ment in­ter­ven­tion, Ma­jor-General Za­muthango Mki at a medal pa­rade hon­our­ing long ser­vice and ex­cep­tional ser­vice last Thurs­day.

The pres­ti­gious event saw the East­ern Cape SAPS band lead a guard of hon­our who marched around the park­ing lot at the Port Al­fred Civic Cen­tre. When rain started pelt­ing down, the band re­treated to a mar­quee, but the guard of hon­our stood like soldiers and were drenched while the SAPS Code of Con­duct was read, un­til they too were al­lowed to march to shel­ter.

In his ad­dress to the medal re­cip­i­ents, fel­low po­lice of­fi­cers, fam­ily and in­vited guests, Mki said: “It is oc­ca­sions such as this I feel es­pe­cially proud to be part of SAPS. There’s no greater hon­our than to recog­nise peo­ple with pas­sion, com­mit­ment and a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­wards their pro­fes­sion.”

He com­mended brav­ery shown in the line of duty, quot­ing the well-known state­ment that “brav­ery is not the ab­sence of fear”, as adapted by au­thor Mark Manson, who con­tin­ues: “Brav­ery is feel­ing the fear, the doubt, the in­se­cu­rity, and de­cid­ing that some­thing else is more im­por­tant.”

Mki said: “It is there­fore im­por­tant to know that more of­ten than not, be­ing brave means do­ing it scared. I en­cour­age you to be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to lis­ten to your heart and strong enough to con­tinue to com­mit your­self to the safety and se­cu­rity of all cit­i­zens.

“Al­ways be alert, op­er­a­tionally ready to re­spond to any at­tack with the equipment at your dis­posal.

“He said mo­ti­va­tion should be a key ob­jec­tive of any in­sti­tu­tion, as “a mo­ti­vated work­force is a more cre­ative and pro­duc­tive one.”

He also thanked the spouses of the po­lice mem­bers for “sup­port­ing their men and women in blue”.

He said look­ing at so­cial me­dia could be very dis­cour­ag­ing as there was a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity.

“Peo­ple ask the ques­tion: who is win­ning between the po­lice and the crim­i­nals? That ques­tion must be an­swered by you.”

He en­cour­aged mem­bers to fur­ther their stud­ies, first study­ing the rules of the SAPS and then the laws of the country.

“Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan, by 2030 women and chil­dren must be able to walk in the street at night. What are you do­ing to achieve that ob­jec­tive?” Mki asked the as­sem­bled po­lice of­fi­cers.

“We are pray­ing we can see that day,” said Mki, who is soon re­tir­ing.

In his wel­com­ing ad­dress, Port Al­fred Clus­ter Com­man­der Bri­gadier Mor­gan Goven­der said SAPS had to show new em­ploy­ees that they were wel­come and needed in the ser­vice, as well as recog­nis­ing the value of long-serv­ing em­ploy­ees.

“To­day we recog­nise loyal ser­vice, de­vo­tion to duty and ser­vices of a par­tic­u­larly mer­i­to­ri­ous and ex­em­plary na­ture,” Goven­der said.

“Sub­se­quently, we ob­serve

not the vic­tory of an in­di­vid­ual, but a cel­e­bra­tion of hard work and com­mit­ment, sig­ni­fy­ing very pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions to the SAPS and par­tic­u­larly to the com­mu­ni­ties our medal re­cip­i­ents serve.

“Work­ing as a po­lice of­fi­cer is no easy task. There are days when it is tough, when there are many chal­lenges, but you have over­come those chal­lenges with re­mark­able en­durance. I am greatly in­spired by our medal re­cip­i­ents’ unreserved ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to the ideals of this or­gan­i­sa­tion. I am hum­bled by your self­less con­duct. Thank you for your loy­alty.”

Goven­der ac­com­pa­nied Mki as he walked along the rows of re­cip­i­ents, pin­ning medals and con­grat­u­lat­ing them. Medals were awarded for 30, 20 and 10 years of ser­vice as well as the 2010 Soc­cer World Cup medal which was given to of­fi­cers for ser­vice dur­ing that in­ter­na­tional pro­file event which re­quired ad­di­tional polic­ing.

Pic­tures JON HOUZET

THE MEN IN BLUE: East­ern Cape deputy provin­cial com­mis­sioner Ma­jor-General Za­muthango Mki, left, and Port Al­fred Clus­ter Com­man­der Bri­gadier Mor­gan Goven­der awarded medals for long ser­vice and ex­cep­tional ser­vice to mem­bers of the Port Al­fred Clus­ter...

Pic­ture: JON HOUZET

PROUD IN BLUE: The re­cip­i­ents of medals in the SAPS Port Al­fred Clus­ter line up for the medal pa­rade at the Port Al­fred Civic Cen­tre last Thurs­day

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