New vispol commander in charge

2015-10-06 06:00
Colonel Celani Songezo Sihlali is the new head of visible policing at Mitchell’s Plain police station. 

Samantha lee

Colonel Celani Songezo Sihlali is the new head of visible policing at Mitchell’s Plain police station. PHOTO: Samantha lee

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There is a new man in blue at the Mitchell’s Plain police station. And he is here to serve you.

Colonel Celani Songezo Sihlali has started his term as Vispol Commander for the station effective Tuesday 1 September.

His role is to oversee operations at the station including the sector commanders, shift commanders, officers and the Customer Service Centre (CSC).

He has been a police officer for 26 years and is the former head of Operation Combat.

He says: “I have worked at Mitchell’s Plain police station on an intervention basis as the commander of Operation Combat. When there was a cry for intervention in terms of gang flare-ups, I would come in.”

He was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel in 2005 while working in Durban.

There, he started a project on the policing of ports of entry. That initiative has since been replicated to all other ports.

“In 2009 I was transferred to Port Elizabeth port where I played the same role and implemented the replica of what I started in Durban. In 2010 I was transferred to Cape Town Harbour where I worked as support commander,” he tells People’s Post.

Two years later he was transferred to Simon’s Town as a unit commander and then an operational commander of Operation Combat under the command of Major General Veary.

“I was a driver of visible policing pillars of the Western Cape gang strategy until I was promoted,” he says.

Sihlali was formally welcomed at a recent community meeting where residents pledged their support for him.

“I want to thank [the CPF] for welcoming me in this area. I know Mitchell’s Plain community as a well structured community,” he said at the meeting.

“Although police are the active partners and the community the passive, it is the primary responsibility of everyone of us to address security and safety issues.”

He adds he is excited about working with a group of passionate individuals.

“It is encouraging to see people who are committed, who leave everything and partner with us. We are government servants and we are paid for this service, I hope we never fail you in that. We are not here to fail you,” he told the volunteers.

It is passion and the quest for safety of the community and it is his hope is to see a crime free Mitchell’s Plain.

“I want people to be able to walk freely and enjoy the scenery. We can achieve this if we work together. We need you more than you need us,” he said to the volunteers.

He tells Peoples Post he has a plan to achieve this.

“I plan to continue working with partners, as I have been in the last few weeks. The community is purpose-driven and has strong community structures so we will build on the existing structures,” he says.

If you have any complaints or suggestions about the CSC, Shift commanders or any aspect of the Vispol Policing, call Colonel Sihlali on 079 886 3474 or make an appointment to see him

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