5000 police trainees have been welcomed into the South African Police Service to train as officers in hopes of increasing the numbers of police officers in the country.
For the first time, the number of recruits has risen above 4000. National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole, says the addition of more recruits is to respond to the policing demand in communities.
“These new recruits are seen as a force multiplier to ensure that we strengthen frontline policing. Our hope is that these young people will assist us to realise the NDP (2030) vision which envisions that people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women should be able to walk freely in the street and children should be able to play safely outside,” said Sitole.
A total of 5000 police trainees were selected from over 517 000 applicants. Of the 5000 trainees, 1580 are female and 3420 are male. The trainees will be undergoing a 21-month Basic Police Development Learning Programme (BPDLP). Training will take place at five SAPS Academy’s nationwide being, SAPS Tshwane Academy in Gauteng, SAPS Bhisho Academy in Eastern Cape, SAPS Oudsthoorn Academy in Western Cape, SAPS Ulundi Academy in Kwa-Zulu Natal and SAPS Hammanskraal Academy in Gauteng.
The new recruits will commence with orientation this week at the various academies where after they will be placed at a designated police station for one month. This serves as an induction phase to acquire practical on-the-job training and experience guided by an assigned mentor before they report at the SAPS Training Academy for the formal training programme. It also aims to bridge the gap between the mind-set of a civilian and police official.
They will then proceed to a SAPS Academy for eight months where they are trained as police officials. This training is a combination of theory and practice which includes but is not limited to fire-arm training, legal principles and fitness assessments.
On successful completion of their training programme, they will be placed at different business units in the SAPS such as police stations and Public Order Police Units for a 12-month probation period, to gain further practical experience and in-service training.
SAPS concluded that all trainees are expected to pass all modules in the Basic Police Development Learning Programme in order to be declared fit to join the service as a constable.
The trainees are expected to graduate at a passing-out parade that will be held in December 2019 at the various SAPS Academies. – Seithati Semenokane