Police Minister Bheki Cele has urged almost 500 police trainee graduates to prioritise providing a quality service to the South African public above anything else.
The Minister made the remarks during a parade of the 495 trainees who had successfully completed the Introductory Police Learning Development Programme (IPLDP) at the South African Police Service (SAPS) Academy in Mthatha on Friday. A total of 194 trainees were paraded in Mthatha.
The SAPS held three parades, one at the SAPS Academy in Mthatha and another at the SAPS Academy All Saints and the third was at the SAPS Academy Thabazimbi in Limpopo.
The SAPS said the 495 newly trained police officers are the first batch of 10 000 members that will be deployed as fully-fledged constables to stations, units and all SAPS service points to ensure more boots on the ground towards enhanced police visibility.
Cele urged the trainees to abide by the police code of conduct.
He said: “Don’t deviate. Stay in your lane. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the trainees who have been recognised by academy commanders as having performed well in the areas of street survival law, physical training and drill.”
Congratulating the group, he said: “Rest assured that the ministry and SAPS management recognises and appreciates that your standing here has come as a result of mental, physical and spiritual hard work. So walk and hold your head up.”
The Minister said the trainees were the best group of people that could be selected for the programme.
“These people standing before me are all graduates. These 194 people standing before me are all graduates, among them are criminologists, we have LLBs here, and we have graduates in forensics here.
“As you go out, do not diminish the pride we have in you. But what will make us more proud is when you are on the ground and you are really implementing what you have been taught and go beyond the call of duty,” he said.
He urged the graduates to execute their duties to the best of their abilities so they could gain the trust of communities.
“As you walk, as South Africans look at you, they must say, here are our saviours. You must say [to] yourself: ‘I am your hope’ and you must agree that and that you are our hope. Don’t do things that will put your peers in shame. Just be there for South Africans, be humble and be very, very close to South Africans.
“That’s the one duty that you have. You must know that you are an asset of South Africans. There is no job here, you’re only coming for service. This is not a job. This is a service.”
Cele urged the recruits to flush out criminals and tackle violent crime head on.
“We are not producing you for fresh graves; we are producing you to work with us to protect [citizens]. Welcome to this organisation, stay blue,” he said.
Source: South African Government News Agency