“There is nothing more comforting and splendid than seeing our men and women in blue parading, heads up, upright and ready to keep us safe.”These were the proud words of Pauline Williams, Northern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, when she spoke at the annual medal parade and the handing over of the sword ceremony of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The event was held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre on 19 October.The ceremony also witnessed the handing over of the Sword of Command to the Northern Cape provincial commissioner, Lt.Gen. Peter Shivuri, by the acting national commissioner, Lt.Gen. Lesetja Mothiba.Williams performed a parade inspection before handing over medals to officers who have served the police for 20, 30 or 40 years.According to Williams, going to work every day can mean many things for police officers that it does not mean for other individuals. “For some of us it is a routine duty that we do without thinking, mechanically. Wake up, put on the blue suit, drive to work, get through the day, get back home. “There is sometimes little of value we can remember during that time. “Some of us go to work to get paid. We pitch up, showing our faces, doing the bare minimum and waiting for knock-off time. “We perform our duties diligently, but bereft of any energy or enthusiasm.”She emphasised that going to work was not just a job, but a calling for the police officers in attendance. “We get the rare breed of police officer who wakes up with enthusiasm. With a ritualistic pride she puts on her uniform with care and precision and pride. “She goes to work, a job she may not return from alive today, with a singular and firm purpose: to serve and protect the people of our province and our country.”Williams referred to them as creating a much-needed force which captures the evildoers under difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances – sons and daughters and mothers who are in constant danger of opportunistic criminals who defy the rule of the law.“They infringe on the basic right of our citizens to be safe in their homes, neighbourhoods and communities.”Williams said the police officers were not just looking after the safety of their people, but were the protectors of their loved ones and their belongings, and also protectors of the dignity of citizens.She urged members of the community to serve as the eyes and ears of the police.