1 500 new officers welcomed

A Metro police officers hands over the ceremonial flag to the training academy at the recruitment of 1 500 new officers on 18 October.

After three months of initial training, 1 500 recruits were finally welcomed into the ranks of the Johannesburg Metro police, doubling its ground force.

Although they will only officially be inducted as officers after 18 months, this allows for intensive training like defensive driving, self-defence, firearm training and, importantly, police ethics. Thereafter, they will be allocated to different units.

When the City of Johannesburg announced that it intended to recruit 1 500 new officers to bolster policing in the City earlier this year, a staggering 65 000 applications were received. Many of these were multiple applications submitted by the same people, effectively driving the number down to 38 600. At the time, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said it was an indication of the 30 per cent unemployment rate in the City.

“One of the City’s nine priorities is to ensure safer communities, but previously, the [Metro police] was extremely understaffed. The addition of 1 500 new officers today represents a 50 per cent increase in the size of our force, alleviating pressure on the formerly over-stretched force,” Mashaba said.

During the induction on 18 October, Mashaba told recruits to act with competency when they are placed in difficult situations. “[You will learn to] know how to deal with youth and children at risk, with people under the influence of illegal substances, and be able to manage situations of domestic violence.

“These are all issues that require that you maintain a sense of calm and uphold your professional conduct.”

The mayor said the although he knows that policing is a national competency, the City has a role to play in keeping residents safe. “I urge each of you here today to never turn a blind eye to law-breakers. Your duty is to ensure observance of the City’s bylaws and to protect our residents from harm. If you witness criminal activities or behaviour, it is your duty to report it, to denounce it, and to uphold the ethics of community policing.”

Mashaba also said the City is trying to extend the powers of the Metro police, like instituting access to detention facilities and municipal courts.

Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, who has served with the Metro police for over 30 years, said he is very happy to see so many new recruits of good calibre join the force. “People will definitely see a difference in crime prevention in the future,” he said.

Sello Senwamadi, a recruit from Midrand, said he felt privileged to be inducted. “It is a dream come true to get this opportunity. I am looking forward to helping reduce crime,” he said.

Senwamadi also said the recruitment process was very tough. But he said he knows that to be patient, disciplined, strong and to respect others, means he will be successful.

Also read:

Recruitment for JMPD officers begins 

Chantelle Fourie

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