The Woman of Excellence Award was handed to Nicole Jacobus, the 30-year-old secretary of the Grassy Park Community Police Forum (CPF), who had made an “extraordinary contribution to the success of neighbourhood watches in the area”.
Philip Bam, public relations officer of the CPF, said it was with great admiration that the CPF acknowledged the role played by women who were working to ensure the safety of the community.
“These women leave their homes at night to patrol the streets of Grassy Park, Ottery, Lotus River, and New Horizon in the Grassy Park police precinct,” he said.
“They are all worthy of admiration and praise.”
Mr Bam said that last month – national Women’s Month – had presented an opportunity to honour women in the safety sector. “While it is not possible to do an award for all women, the Grassy Park CPF decided to award the Woman of Excellence Award to one of the young women who made an extraordinary contribution to the success of neighbourhood watches in the area.”
Mr Bam said in 2015, Ms Jacobus was elected as secretary of the Grassy Park CPF and performed the co-ordinating function with great success. “She is an active executive member of the CPF and has built an excellent rapport with police officials. She is trusted by the community who will share confidential information about crime with her.”
Mr Bam said Ms Jacobus used to work as a disaster risk management volunteer and that her experience as a first-aider and first responder help to ensure that the services offered by the neighbourhood watches were professional.
“She is an active patroller of the Carola Neighbourhood Watch, offering her free time to serve the community,” said Mr Bam.
Ms Jacobus told Southern Mail the best part of being the secretary of the CPF was “meeting people from different walks of life”, even though this could sometimes be challenging
When asked what drove her to continue serving the community, Ms Jacobus said: “This doesn’t come with experience, you just need to be a people’s person and have the passion to help people.”
Asked what advice she would offer to fellow South African women, she said: “Currently it’s sad what is happening in our country. However, women shouldn’t be afraid to step up, and make their voices heard.”