Final bow for Hillcrest sergeant

2018-11-06 06:01
PHOTO: PHINDILE SHOZIRenee Matthews has served the SAPS for 13 years.

PHOTO: PHINDILE SHOZIRenee Matthews has served the SAPS for 13 years.

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ACHIEVING her dream to become a police officer and to make a difference didn’t come easy for sergeant Renee Matthews, who is now retiring after 13 years of service.

Matthews revealed that, when she was young, she wanted to be a policewoman however, thanks to some misguided decisions, the path to her dream job was tougher than most.

“So many people were whining about crime yet did not stand-up and make a difference. That is when I told myself that I need to make a difference” she explained.

“Since I was young I wanted to be a police officer. I dropped out of school, thinking that I was clever, and then I went to apply to be in the police force but I couldn’t get through because I didn’t have matric,” she said.

Matthews was forced to go back to school but, due to her pride, she couldn’t bring herself to tell her parents about the situation, which resulted in her getting a job to pay for her studies herself.

“I battled with all sorts of different jobs through the years until I eventually saved up enough to pay for my matric, the correspondent course, my board and lodging for the year, and my exams,” said the sergeant.

Matthews’ chosen subjects included Law of Criminal Procedure and Evidence, Statutory Law, South African Criminal Law and Introduction to Criminology and after completing her studies, as soon as she got her results, she went back to the police to apply and she was called back for training. Six months after that she was stationed in the South Coast.

After three years of working in the South Coast she asked for a transfer, because her wife lived in Hillcrest, saying: “I came here in 2008 and I’ve never moved since.”

In talking about her journey since then, Matthews revealed that one of the challenges that police face is that they are not recognised for their good work, rather they are all categorised as “useless” in the community.

“The community don’t name and shame but they put you all the same group, even though they don’t know what we deal with each and every day,” she said.

“There are a lot of people who try to make a difference as much I did, they really go out of their way to help the community,” she added.

Through it all, Matthews said she’s really going to miss the police force as she’s spent 13 years of her life there.

To conclude, she encouraged people to stop being negative towards the police and to rather be positive as: “Positivity feeds positivity.”

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