Claremont police remember the fallen

Claremont Community Police Forum chairman Abdul Kerbelker, Claremont police station commander Colonel Maree Louw and Captain Theodore Donsashe light candles in commemoration of fallen police officers while Sergeant Lutchmee Chetty looks on.

Claremont police remembered their fallen colleagues last Thursday.

The annual National Prayer Day for Police Safety commemorates those officers who have died in the past year.

The Claremont police station invited Imam Shaheed Gamieldien of Claremont Main Road Mosque, Pastor Sakhiwo Rala from Good News Community Church and Pastor Ralton Kirby from Calvary Baptist church to share prayers and blessings in a service attended by about 20 people, including police staff and members of the Claremont Improvement District.

Claremont police station commander Colonel Maree Louw said it was important to commemorate fallen officers as many were killed in the line of duty, and officers were also dying from Covid-19 during the pandemic.

According to Colonel Louw, 33 police officers have died in the province in the line of duty in the past year and 39 in the Claremont-Wynberg police cluster have died from Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

“We lost many members, and we need a higher power to save us during these difficult times we are living in,” she said.

Colonel Louw said officers were constantly reminded to vaccinate, sanitise and wear their masks.

Warrant Officer Clinton Solomons, from the Wynberg police station, said it was important for the community to work with the police. “We can’t work without the community when we combat crime, and from a religious perspective we need our religious leaders to pray with us during this time.”

Imam Gamieldien thanked the police for keeping the community safe and Pastor Rala thanked the police for their dedicated service. “They are fighting crime when everyone is still fighting Covid-19,” said Pastor Rala.

At the National Prayer Day for Police from left, are Warrant Officer Clinton Solomons; Claremont police station commander Colonel Maree Louw; Imam Shaheed Gamieldien, of Claremont Main Road Mosque; Pastor Ralton Kirby, from Calvary Baptist Church, with his wife, Therese Kirby; and Pastor Sakhiwo Rala, from Good News Community Church.