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City welcomes 1500 new JMPD trainee officers

When the City of Joburg announced that it intended to recruit 1500 new JMPD​ officers to bolster policing in the City earlier this year, we were overwhelmed by the 38 600 applications that were received. 
In fact we received many, many more applications, but some people were so eager to secure a place on this programme, that they applied several times.
JMPD recruits you stand here today because the City needs you, and you stand here because the City chose you.
861 000 of Johannesburg’s residents do not have jobs. The youth unemployment rate stands at over 30%.
You all here today among the fortunate few the City could accommodate. Though we are heartened by the vast number of applications received, we clearly have a massive task ahead of us in tackling unemployment.
When I took office in August last year, one of the promises I made was that I would capacitate the JMPD to enable them to better police the City’s communities. 
It is with joy that I am seeing that promise realised today.
One of the City’s nine priorities is to ensure safer communities, but previously, the JMPD was extremely understaffed. The addition of 1500 new officers today represents a 50% increase in the size of our JMPD force, alleviating pressure on the formerly over-stretched JMPD.
Although you as recruits have completed the three-month basic training programme, over the next three years your training will continue, and you will be placed in different situations where you will be expected to act with competency.
While your primary training to date is primarily concerned with traffic violations, your training over the next three years will ensure that you will be able to be effective crime prevention officers, that you will know how to deal with youth and children at risk, with people under the influence of illegal substances, and be able to manage situations of domestic violence – all issues that require that you maintain a sense of calm and uphold your professional conduct in spite of difficult people and circumstances.
You may not know how to deal with all types of adverse situations yet, but if you uphold the oath of service and commitment to keeping the citizens of Johannesburg safe, I know you will do the right thing to keep the City’s people safe.
The City of Johannesburg recognizes that policing is first and foremost a national competency, and that our national government is responsible for the country’s safety and security, however, we acknowledge that the City has a role to play in keeping our residents safe.
The primary function of our JMPD officers is to ensure that by-laws are upheld, and where they encounter infringements, officers compelled to censure the lawbreakers. 
However, the challenges posed by the high incidence of crime within the City are substantial. If we are to succeed, we need provincial and national government to also do their part.
This said, I urge each of you here today to never to turn a blind eye to law-breakers. Your duty is to ensure observance of the City’s by-laws and to protect our residents from harm. 
If you witness criminal activities or behavior, it is your duty to report it, to denounce it, and to uphold the ethics of community policing.
The residents of Johannesburg want safe streets. The City has allocated R131 million towards increased JMPD visibility in identified crime hotspots in the City. 
Ultimately, we will be spending R846 million on community safety over the medium term.
However, I am aware that to make Johannesburg great, to leave a legacy of a clean, safe City, we have to try extend the powers of the JMPD, so that they can deal with crime-related issues they are not currently mandated to deal with.
Although we have capacitated the JMPD’s K9 division, and we have introduced better equipment, and more powerful cars to the JMPD, the organization is still not capacitated to take full control of crime situations due to restrictions on their powers.
In the coming year I will seek to engage our legislators in order to raise support for a change in local policing, so that local policing units like the JMPD will have their powers and capacity strengthened. 
I want to see the JMPD more closely linked to the criminal justice system, access to its own detention facilities so that when a criminal is arrested, they aren’t back on the street before the end of the day.
I want to see our municipal courts functioning optimally with competent legal professionals ensuring the rule of law is observed. 
JMPD Recruits, my hope for you is that you never encounter the dark side of humanity, but I know that is an unrealistic hope. 
As you begin your careers, you are going to meet immense challenges, and you are going to have to show what you are made of.
I have every faith that you will make the City proud.
Welcome to the City of Johannesburg. 
Cllr Herman Mashaba
Executive Mayor 
City of Joburg
For further information contact:
Luyanda Mfeka
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Executive Mayor
Tel: 011 407 6727
076 171 5978