The current Covid-19 pandemic did very little to deter the Sea Point Improvement District (CID) from honouring members who excelled in their roles to keep the neighbourhood safe.
During a small ceremony held on Thursday 15 October, 21 officers, including the City’s law enforcement and traffic officers, were recognised for their contribution, particularly at the start of the national lockdown.
Heather Tager, chief operating officer for CID, says at the start of the lockdown there was an influx of homeless people into the area. However, the teams showed resilience and dealt with every incident.
“We wanted to commend the officers for their dedication during the high peak of the pandemic with zero absenteeism regardless of the number of challenges the officers faced travelling to and from work,” she says.
The awards featured four categories; officer of the year, best Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) system controller, best foot patrol and best mobile driver.
“While we still have a number of challenges within our area, every day a team of 20 odd personnel wake up in the early hours of the morning, commute for hours and arrive at work on time to keep us safe within the area,” says Tager.
The officer of the year award went to Wandile Hlathi. He was recognised for his commitment, consistency and leadership. “This officer is an all-rounder and can stand in for any position. He has been responsible for many arrests, especially remote jammers,” explains Tager. Ricado Cramford was awarded the best LPR controller. Cramford works closely with the police and other law enforcement agencies, collecting LPR footage which has assisted in solving several cases.
The category for best foot patrol officer went to Mvuseleli Ben Pama. In recent months, the officer single-handedly made two arrests after he was flagged down by members of the public alerting him of crime incidents. Zandisile Fani scooped the best mobile driver. “He too has been responsible for several arrests,” explains Tager.
Nicola Jowell, ward 54 councillor, extended her gratitude to the officers. She said the area is lucky to have an active CID. She praised the CID for building a strong relationship with the City’s safety and security departments.
“I thanked them for not finding ways for not being at work but for leading by example and their integrity in putting their work and their community in the forefront.
“I encouraged the members to also hold fast to their work and training in very difficult circumstances when at times the expectation of what they are thought to be able to do are not in line with the legislation,” she says.