Geared up after ceremony

2015-05-05 06:00

In a historic move for safety and security in Parkwood, the community organisations Voice of Parkwood, the Parkwood Community Forum along with the ward councillor have acknowledged the efforts by the local community police forum (CPF) as well as the neighbourhood watches in ward 66.

And to say thank you to the organisations, the department of community safety MEC Dan Plato and the mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith came bearing gifts.

Ward Councillor Melanie Arendse, who initiated the event, says she wanted to give recognition to the people who sacrifice their time and lives without any remuneration.

“We just felt like we wanted to give recognition to the people who walk our streets tonight while we’re sleeping. They give tirelessly of their time and commitment to ensure we are safe,” Arendse says.

She adds the fancy affair held at the Parkwood Community Centre was paid for from her ward allocation budget. “I wanted to do something constructive with the money I had left and decided on this. I approached Smith about the idea and he pointed me in the right direction on how to go about it,” she says.

Arendse says the event was a momentous occasion as it was the first time this was done in her ward.

“We want to recognise the communication channel and fruitful relationship that has been established between the crime fighting organisations and our local police. Their has been a notable mindshift in the attitudes in our community and its through the efforts of our crime fighters,” she says.

Arendse adds the closing hours of house shops, destroying of fires on corners and youth wanting to form positive youth groups has had a positive impact in the community.

“We even see that more people now want to join the neighbourhood watches. And our youth are willing to come on-board as well which is a definite benefit because previously you would never see this happening in Parkwood,” Arendse adds.

Smith said he was proud to be a part of the evening and encouraged other communities to follow this trend.

“I always tell ward councillors who say they are concerned for safety in their area to put their money where their mouth is. Arendse has shown this tonight and that’s why I was willing to come out here tonight in support of the event,” Smith says.

Grassy Park police station commander Colonel Shawn Van Wyk said he was very excited for the occasion and looks forward to working with the Parkwood community.

“We cannot have successes at the police station if the community does not work with us. Therefore i look forward to our relationship growing in the manner that it has in the past few months,” he says.

During the ceremony all members of the CPF and neighbourhood watches were awarded with certificates of appreciation and pamper packs for their services rendered to the community. The neighbourhood watch received five bicycles, wheel pumps, helmets, torches, whistles and reflector jackets.

Plato also thanked the crime-fighting organisations for their diligent work in the community. “You’re doing a great job and without you we cannot keep our communities safe.”

V

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