Joining the 20+ club
Entering the world of law enforcement as a woman, you need to hold your own and show that you are more than capable of doing what men are doing out there.
These were the words of Traffic Service inspector, Inez Lackay, shortly after receiving an award for her 20-year service in the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate. Lackay and 98 of her colleagues were recently commended for long service ranging from 20 to 46 years of employment.
Although she admits law enforcement is not for everyone, she encourages women to consider joining the service. “It’s not for everybody, but if you are a strong-willed person, someone who can hold their own, definitely apply. If it’s something that you see yourself aspiring to do, you are more than welcome, and let’s face it, females stand a very good chance of being accepted into this environment right now, so I would definitely encourage it,” says Lackay.
She points out that women have as much opportunity as men these days.
“There are more women now than 20 years ago. Initially it was a novelty – when I started there were very few women within traffic services. I remember there were about three or four, I’m talking about traffic officers, the others were all wardens, traffic wardens, parking wardens, metre wardens. Perceptions have changed, it is a more common sight seeing a female officer [nowadays]. Even our establishment has embraced women, because this was a male-dominated environment, a male-dominated world that we were working in,” Lackay says.
She started her career as a traffic warden in 1997 and is currently the officer in charge at the City’s two vehicle impoundment lots in Maitland and Ndabeni. She shares her thoughts on joining the “20+ club”.
“It feels wonderful, but also scary because I’ve just realised how time flew. I cannot believe that it’s been 20 years. It was in the blink of an eye. It’s unbelievable, but also nice to get recognition for it, you know.”
The Safety and Security Directorate has welcomed more than 30 new inductees to the exclusive “20+ club”.
“This is an incredibly special occasion each year, because it acknowledges the many years of dedicated service that these staff members have given to the City and its residents, but it is also a representation of the depth of knowledge and skills that we are privileged to have within our ranks. We look to these staff members to help us grow and develop our rookies coming through the ranks,” says Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith