No ‘top’ cop

2015-05-05 06:00

What message are we sending our children, when the top cop in the province is suspended after charges of corruption are levelled at him?

Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and three senior officers have been suspended and face 109 counts, including corruption, money laundering and racketeering, with a Cape businessman.

These are officers who, filling the highest policing position in the province, should be beyond reproach – to the extent that a parking ticket could not be held to their names.

Yet daily we are faced with stories about police officers flouting the law – The very men and women who are meant to protect us committing crimes and endangering others. What happened to the days when becoming a police officer was an honour, a calling for only the bravest and most trustworthy?

Perhaps it has seeped in from our society, where breaking the law is so widespread it has become the norm.

How often do we think nothing of jaywalking, driving after drinking or keeping money found on the street?

We turn a blind eye to drug dealing and gangsterism, quick to pull our curtains closed or avert our faces.

We should not only hold our police officers account­able, reporting their failures to uphold the law, but also our community members, friends and family.

We can only partially blame an officer for accepting a bribe when we are at fault for putting the temptation in front of him or her. We need to start building a culture of law-abiding citizenship in our homes. If each child is raised to do the right thing, we will have created not only a generation of dependable police officers, but also members of public who will hold them accountable.

The fight against corruption lies with each and ever one of us. Not only should we hold corrupt police officers accountable, we should also ensure that we do not create an environment in which corruption is possible

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