"If the police are removed from society, we will fail to be a society". This was the sentiment expressed by Pastor Jerome Campher at a motivational day presented by the Athlone Police on Thursday.
Metro Police, private security companies, and other key role-players in the community safety sector of the Athlone precinct were among those present at the event, held at Jezreel Christian Ministries in the Kismet Centre on Thursday, 14 September.
Referring to Ezekiel 22:30, Pastor Campher said that police are the "gap-standers of society".
"Society will not know what it has until the police force ceases to exist," Campher said.
Speaking to the officers present, he said: "If no-one ever says thank you to you, remember that without you, society will fail".
"I want to thank you for what you deposit into society and tell you that you need to find your value within yourself," he added.
The newly appointed Station Commissioner of the Athlone Police Station, Director Anand Pillay, encouraged the various stakeholders within the safety sector to work together.
"Each of us is here to complement each other. Policing is not solely the responsibility of the police - we also need the community to be our eyes and ears," Pillay said.
Referring to an initiative earlier that week, Pillay said that even within the police, it was important to work together as one unit.
"On Wednesday, some of our uniformed members went out on the road at 02:00 to arrest a suspect, which is actually the work of the detectives.
"I would like all our members to not treat anyone as being inferior. Treat every individual as you yourself would like to be treated," he said.
With regard to crime, Pillay added that although there are many problems that the Athlone precinct has in common with other communities, one of its unique problems is that the majority of all its crimes have one linking factor.
"We have found that almost all crimes in the area are drug-related. People break into houses and steal vehicles to buy drugs. We have to work together if we want to get rid of this problem and ensure a better community," Pillay said.
After the speeches, attendees were treated to a light lunch before getting back to work.