AMID a long list of finalists from different police units across all the provinces, officer Sergeant Shaun Dicks did the Port Elizabeth K9 Unit proud by scooping the highly coveted Tracker/SAPS national individual award for recovering the most hijacked and stolen vehicles.
The annual SAPS awards, hosted by Tracker, are aimed at honouring the good work of the police service in the fight against vehicle crime.
Having tracked 18 stolen or hijacked vehicles, recovering an additional 32 stolen vehicles and making 98 arrests this year, it is evident that Dicks has an immense passion for his work and is dedicated to serving the citizens.
Commenting on the fine achievement the 37-year-old officer said words fail him.
“It still feels so unreal to me. I honestly have no words to describe how I feel – I am truly honoured and humbled.
“I have been with the K9 Unit for the past five years and all this would not have been possible without my team and my amazing partner, Bruno (a patrol and explosive detection dog).” Speaking at the 18th ceremony, Tracker’s director of operations, Ron Knott-Craig, said the company acknowledged that stolen vehicles played a big role in crime.
“Vehicle theft is a specific crime, but stolen vehicles are also used to commit other crimes,” he explained.
He explained that the judges applied a set of strict criteria to select the nominees and overall winners in every category.
“These criteria include an outstanding contribution in the area of vehicle crime investigation, number of recoveries and arrests, outstanding efforts in coordinating recovery actions and outstanding contribution to the training of members.
“Every year the finalists are chosen from a group of more than 90 individual nominees and 40 units nationally.”
In his working environment, Dicks is well known for his interminable positivity in the face of adversity.
He was described by peers as constantly being first in line to assist with the tracking and recovery of stolen and hijacked vehicles and missing persons, and also ensured that he stayed up to date with current trends, continually sharing the knowledge he has gained with team members.