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Students are ‘agents of change’

Ward 26 councillor Franchesca Walker describes Wyatt Thornton, acting programme manager for Safety in Society at Northlink Parow campus, as a passionate man.

“He takes his calling to heart, pushes and gives his all where teaching and young people are concerned,” says Walker.

Walker, who works with the Safety in Society lecturers, including Thornton, says she took some safety members within the ward on a tour of the Transport Management Centre (TMC) in Goodwood.

“When we entered the Law Enforcement section, I noticed a young man who could not stop looking at Mr Thornton.”

Walker says when Thornton looked at the young man, he stood to attention and everyone was shocked.

“He displayed respect to his former lecturer and Thornton was so happy and could not contain himself and gave Byron Gaffely a warm hug as tears of joy ran down Byron’s face.”

“Gaffely is one of the many young men and women who made it through the training and is now a member of the Law Enforcement Unit,” says Walker.

Thornton, from Kuils River, says he believes the students are the agents of change for crime prevention in South Africa.

Thornton, who has been lecturing at the campus for eight years, says the course serves as an opportunity to get better trained Law Enforcement officers.

“Students enrolled in the course take subjects like Criminal Justice, Policing, Governance, Criminal Justice and Criminology and when they have completed their level four, they can apply at law enforcement agencies like the police or they can apply at academic institutions,” says Thornton.

He says although he cannot take all the credit because the campus is a team, it’s good to see former students and to see them employed.

“There are many similar success stories and it is great to see how successful the youth can be.”

Thornton says he would encourage anyone to enrol in this course, but students need to be committed because they are the ones who can speak to the crime in the country.

Thornton says there are students at Law Enforcement, at SAPS and some of them are doing their internships at Prasa and the Parow Police Station.

Walker says she is determined that no young person, especially within the ward, falls by the wayside. Walker says they have started a search for all students who have gone through Safety in Society at the Parow campus.

“We need to find them and establish the current status as know many have gone into the SAPS Metro Police and Law Enforcement. We are going to invite them all back in uniform to Northlink Parow campus and have a blessed reunion.

“I believe the students, along with their lecturers, should be celebrated and this will motivate and encourage all the Safety in Society students currently on course,” says Walker.

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