THE South African Police Service (SAPS) in Port Elizabeth has welcomed two newly appointed station commanders who were conferred with new ranks in the Motherwell and Mount Road clusters recently. The two station commanders, Brigadier Michael Solani and Brigadier Marius Groenewald, officially stepped into their new offices this month, with big plans in place to curb crime in the city.According to Captain Khaya Tonjeni, of the provincial media centre, the appointment of the station commanders could not have come at a better time.“The province hosted a national launch for the operation of a safer festive season, aimed at ensuring that our citizens and their property are safe during the festive season and beyond. “They are also tasked with the crucial duty of providing leadership in these stations, which also happen to be in some of the busiest clusters,” Tonjeni said.Groenewald, joined the police service in 1982 and worked in the visible policing environment most of his career. He is looking forward to taking up the reins at Mount Road police station. “I embrace my new appointment with enthusiasm and I am sure that with a good management team, we will be able to confront our challenges head on. “I am also looking forward to meeting with the community policing forum and together we need to find solutions to curbing stubborn crimes affecting our communities,” said Groenewald.Mount Road Cluster Commander, Major General Thembisile Patekile, welcomed Groenewald as a station commander and added that he had no doubt that he would take the station forward. “His insight, experience and knowledge of police work will definitely make him a successful leader in steering his team in the right direction,” added Patekile.Solani, the new Motherwell police station commander, has dedicated 36 years of his life to serving and protecting the community and is excited about his new journey ahead.“I’m looking forward to this new role and have so many plans, which includes making the city safer and improving community consultation. “I’m also planning on working closely with detectives to trace and apprehend suspects,” Solani said.The Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga, added that these new appointments must be understood within the context of growth and development within the South African Police Service in the Eastern Cape. “Growth means skilful and capable senior management and development in numbers and new innovations on the other hand. “They have exhibited a sense of diligence, commitment and passion for their work,” explained Ntshinga. The newly appointed station commanders have undergone a rigorous and objective process of assessment and selection, which tested their suitability in their current fields.