Claremont police say farewell to veteran officer

Warrant Officer Colin Geneke.

Claremont police have bid farewell to Warrant Officer Colin Geneke, 60, who retired at the end of last month, after 40 years in SAPS.

Warrant Officer Geneke, from Blackheath, worked at Mowbray and Wynberg police stations before joining the Claremont precinct, where he spent 26 years.

“I became a police officer as I always thought about doing something good for the community and wanted to keep it safe,” he said.

Over the years, he has formed strong relationships with the community improvement districts, security firms and neighbourhood watches.

“I would always look at giving a good service, and when these organisations called me, I would help them out.”

During his final months as a police officer, he caught Covid-19 and had to spend four weeks in hospital. “I am grateful for the community and my colleagues for sharing their prayers and support, and I am glad that I recovered,” he said.

He would miss his colleagues and the community now that he was retiring, he said.

Those who have worked with Warrant Officer Geneke heaped praise on him during a small farewell ceremony at Claremont police station last Friday.

Derek Bluck, chairman of the Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch, said Warrant Officer Geneke had helped the watch to get off the ground 14 years ago. “He gave us assistance as to what we should do and was always on hand to help us.”

Claremont Community Police Forum chairman Abdul Kerbelker said their relationship with Warrant Officer Geneke had been built on honesty and trust. “He always kept a smile when working with us,” he said.

Claremont police station commander Colonel Maree Louw said Warrant Officer Geneke had always carried out his duties cheerfully.

“It is not every day that a police member can retire well; we are happy he can retire and relax,” she said.

Warrant Officer Geneke said he had no immediate plans for retirement.

Claremont Police officers and Har-Lyn Neighbourhood members with Warrant Officer Geneke, in the middle, at his farewell.