Policing from the heart, this cop cares


This is not a good time to be a cop. Widespread reports of police brutality, soaring crime rates and reports of corruption all mean that public trust in the police force is at an all time low. Add to that low pay and a job that demands risking your life, and it’s hard to find a reason to celebrate being a police officer. Not so for Warrant Officer Andries Douglas.

Douglas views his work less as a job than as a way to transform his community. In the small Western Cape town of Ceres he is celebrated as a local hero, known for his commitment to helping the less fortunate any way he can. Up before dawn, Douglas routinely drives through town handing out blankets, scarves and old clothes to people without a home – anything to fight off the cold. With a black belt in karate, he also teaches martial arts to local children, imparting the discipline and skills necessary for self-defence in a risky environment. None of this is in his job description.

Douglas calls his philosophy policing from the heart. For him, life is about more than working for a salary. It’s about helping people. His attitude is paying off. In a time when the police are often viewed with suspicion and fear, Douglas has earned the trust of his community.