Sgt Strauss still soaring

2018-04-17 06:00
Sergeant Carol StraussPHOTO: Earl Haupt

Sergeant Carol StraussPHOTO: Earl Haupt

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For Sergeant Carol Evelyn Leticia Strauss, being a police officer at Grassy Park Police Station has allowed her to grow.

Strauss started her police career in 2006 after graduating from Pretoria West’s Police Academy. Today she is a sergeant after gaining promotion earlier this month.

“I started working here as a constable at Grassy Park Police Station in January 2016. I was transferred from Upington. I was in Upington from 2008 and before that I was at Evander Police Station in Mpumalanga,” says Strauss.

She says she is from the Northern Cape, but spent most of her schooling years in Eerste River.

She explains that she always knew she would be in law enforcement, even after first being a waitress after school before a brief career as a firefighter.

“When we were younger, my cousin and I, who now works at the military hospital in Wynberg, grew up in a military environment. She is at the army, and I am at the police. Like any other child, I wanted to be an FBI agent, because I was always playing with toy guns and cars and pretending that we were solving cases, so it actually started from there. When I became a police official I wanted to do more,” says Strauss.

She says being a police officer is about more than just attending to complaints, but also contributing to healing the community they serve.

“I noticed in my earlier career that things need healing and that prevention is better than cure. That is when I started becoming more interested in projects – children, elderly people and vulnerable people. If I should move from this station to another station, I can do everything, because here you do everything,” she says.

Meanwhile, Grassy Park police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Wynita Kleinsmith, echoes Strauss’s views.

“A station like this makes you grow, because you are exposed to a lot of things. For me going to a station like Camps Bay – I would wonder what I am going to do with myself. Our duty is to form partnerships. We try to do the partnerships between the police and the community and better it, so we go to the schools and to community events to show that there is a more human side to the police as well,” says Kleinsmith.

Strauss says that she was somewhat surprised at her promotion because she is still young.

“I still see myself as a constable, because I grew in that rank. If you can’t trust the police, who are you going to trust? I want people to know that when they see me, I am somebody in their life, a role model who they can trust,” she explains.

She feels she is forging a path for others to follow.

“If you don’t have a dream, then you are not going to achieve whatever you want to achieve. I come here to do my work and if you are a youngster out there and you have the same vision to become something in life, you must put your foot down and decide that parties will always be there and friends will always be there, but your education will never be there all the time for you,” she says.

Strauss, whose husband is also a police officer, spends as much time with her nine-year-old son as possible.

“Whenever I am at home, I make a point to spend time only with the family, because I don’t believe in partying and clubbing. I like to keep my path right as well. My child is going through a phase where he gets a lot of homework, so when there is no homework, I make time to spend with him. I also make time to spend with the rest of the family. At the end of the day, we must have friends, but your pillar or the thing that keeps you going is only your immediate family. You must have a safe haven. During the holidays, I like to take nice long drives with the family I have in my house. A family who prays together, stays together.”

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