Pretoria - When Senior Superintendent Tummi Golding joined the South African Police Service (SAPS) in 2002, her mission was to help those affected by crime and her passion for the police service has certainly paid off all these years later, writes Edwin Tshivhidzo.
Golding joined the SAPS as a Crime Analyst at the level of Captain having been poached from ABSA and despite being in the Communications Section of the SAPS, one can describe Golding as a jack of all trades who doesn't mince her words.
Armed with a degree in Social Sciences and various other courses in communications, Golding says her skills have developed over the years. "I can do anything within the SAPS - this includes doing operational work."
While working at the Crime Analysis Centre those many years ago, then a Captain, she requested to conduct research on street kids to broaden and enhance her skills, little did she know that her interest in the world of research would be ignited.
"The findings were shocking. But I really enjoyed that part of my job. I am also willing to explore other areas within the SAPS," she said.
Like many South Africans faced with the grim reality of crime, Golding survived an attempted car-hijacking in Pretoria in 2000. The would-be hijackers fired shoots at her car leaving most of her car windows shattered.
But, her quick thinking got her out of a situation that could have ended tragically. And with the police responding positively to her plight, her love affair with the police service began.
Asked whether the incident still made her angry, she simply said: "No, not all, I know that those people are behind bars for other crimes and they cannot commit any other crime for the rest of their lives."
Recently, the Department of Police celebrated National Police Day in Bloemfontein aimed at giving recognition to the services rendered by police officers and honoured those who have put their lives at risk to protect and serve South African citizens.
According to the department, the main aim of marking National Police Day was to reinforce the nation's confidence in the police for their safety and security.
Thousands of police officers from all over the country converged in Bloemfontein to celebrate their heroism.
Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, said South Africans must appreciate the good work done by police officers in combating and preventing crime.
"Society looks upon us to fight the evil deeds of crime and corruption. People must be confident and trust that police are there to protect them," he said.
The theme for this year's celebration was: South African Police Service members, my Family, The theme was to highlight the importance of promoting partnerships with the community in fighting crime.
And for the 38-year-old mother of two, who is best known for hosting the SABC 2 crime fighting programme, When Duty Calls, being recognised for her hard work and dedication was humbling.
Asked as to where she sees herself in the coming years, she said: "I see myself as the first female Police Minister."