Captain Ettienne de Beer has joined the Aberdeen SAPS as acting station commander, after Capt Vernon Minnaar moved to Graaff-Reinet as acting Cluster VISPOL Coordinator.
Capt de Beer is originally from Aberdeen, and he started at the local station in 1993 as a constable fresh from college. After 13 years in Aberdeen, during which time he rose to the rank of warrant officer, he was promoted to Pretoria as a captain.
After spells in the Eastern Cape Provincial Office in Bisho, and as station commander in Rietbron, he spent three years in Graaff-Reinet as the Cluster VISSPOL Coordinator.
De Beer is happy to be back in Graaff-Reinet, and is well-known in the town, as he has always had a base there. His wife, Martha, has been a nursing sister at the Aberdeen hospital for many years.
He sees the main challenges as the shortage of manpower, as he does not feel that four members on a shift is sufficient, especially as in practise it is often only three due to illness or leave.
“We have too few members, but too many vehicles,” he added, explaining that having too many vehicles leads to abuse by members. Four vehicles are currently in the workshop for repairs, but there are still several at the station that are not needed.
He is very pleased to see the willingness of the community to help in the fight against crime, and plans to hold meetings with the community in the next few weeks.