Ever wanted to be a champion on the side of justice in South Africa?
There are many of these champions. We see them every day in their blue uniforms, and they make us feel safe. Young kids often idolize them and dream of being heroes like they are. Their job is to protect good people and fight against the bad. We are, of course, talking about the South African Police.
In South Africa, it is relatively easy to apply to become a member of this crime-fighting force. Their job, however, is not easy. Police offers must be ready to respond to challenging situations and act without hesitation to investigate and combat crime. The position will call upon them to go into uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations such as a robbery, protest, or drug bust scene. They must develop a keen eye for conditions to detect possible criminal activity and act appropriately to stop it in its tracks.
How do you become a member of the South African Police Service? The requirements are relatively straight-forward:
- you have to be a citizen of South Africa
- At least 18 years old
- In possession of a valid drivers license
- You must not have a criminal record.
- You need at least a matric (standard) indicating your proficiency in mathematical literacy, Life Orientation, and some of the widely spoken languages such as English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, and isiXhosa.
- You must also be fit, a good communicator, and even-tempered.
Before you qualify to undergo training at an academy for eight months, you will be subjected to some trials to determine your aptitude, intelligence, health, and personality.
At the police college, training focuses both on theory and practice. It includes a good understanding of firearms and how to use them and become familiar with legal principles. Fitness assessments play a significant role and are being conducted from time to time.
You will also visit police stations and observe first-hand how the officers register case dockets, complete official registers, and perform various other day-to-day tasks.
After you have completed your training successfully, you will be placed at a police station or unit for a probation period of twelve months to gain more experience.
The hours can be challenging. In the beginning, doing 12-hour shifts is the norm rather than the exception. As you move to higher ranks, the hours may change.
Keep in mind that as a police officer, you are, above all, a protector. That may mean putting your life on the line. It also means going to bed every night in the knowledge that the streets are safer because of you.