Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
Crime busters were given the thumbs up for combating crime and for almost changing their town into a crime-free zone.
The Newcastle police station came first out of 132 KwaZulu-Natal police stations for high performance in service delivery to the public.
The average crime rate has dropped from 400 to 120 cases a month.
"Police in different units were awarded certificates of appreciation signed by provincial commissioner Hamilton Ngidi.
Sergeant Sphamandla Thusi, 39, and Bongani Masondo, 37, are in contact with all sorts of crime. Thusi said their secret is "God and dedication". Both are members of the dog unit that achieved many arrests over the festive season.
They arrested two wanted criminals who tried to defeat the ends of justice by escaping from police cells to spend Christmas with their families. They arrested Xolani Ndlovu, 27, at Witbank in Mpumalanga and Ayanda Buthelezi, 18, in Inquthu, KwaZulu-Natal.
They also found 10 stolen vehicles and four suspects who killed four family members and raped a four-month-old baby, a 13-year-old and the mother. They made more than 40 arrests in six months.
"A policeman is a policeman even after work.
"We should understand that even after work we are policemen and women. People's crime complaints are our responsibility," he said.
Commissioner Khombinkosi Jula said his members had shown dedication to their jobs.
"The public comes first for us through sector policing.
"We have improved accountability," Jula said.