PRETORIA, December 22 (ANA) – The South African government wants more of its white citizens to join the rank and file of the South African Police Service (SAPS), Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said at a pass-out parade of newly-trained police officers on Friday.
“Yes, the issue of white youth [not joining the police service] is a cause for concern, because I do think we can do better in terms of numbers. That will basically be on our radar, to ensure that we recruit more. I have made a point that they need to come forward and serve in a democratic South Africa,” Mbalula said at the SAPS Tshwane Academy, west of Pretoria CBD.
The SAPS held various passing-out parades, at different training academies, for the more than 3,000 newly trained police officers countrywide. The young men and women have completed their Basic Police Training Learning Programme.
The passing-out parades were held at the SAPS Tshwane Academy, SAPS Bhisho Academy in the Eastern Cape, and SAPS Bishop Lavis in Western Cape.
The police trainees who stood on parade on Friday e the second intake to graduate from the SAPS’ revised Basic Police Training Learning Programme which was introduced in 2016.
The revised programme now includes an induction phase of one month, which is intended to familiarise trainees with the police station environment and the overall basic activities of the community service centres.
The SAPS said after this phase, the trainees then proceed to one of the SAPS training academies for eight months where they are trained as police officials. This training is a combination of theory and practice.
Once completed, members are then deployed as fully-fledged constables to their various police stations across the country, where they serve a one-year probation period, which is also seen as an in-service training programme.
As many as 3,499 newly trained officers have been deployed across the country just in time for the festive season, which is characterised by a high crime rate in South Africa. At least 935 are females.
National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla Sitole on Friday congratulated the newly trained officers and encouraged them to implement their skills and knowledge at the various police stations nationwide.
“Members on parade, you will need to continuously learn and apply what you have been taught, in an endless process of improving your policing skills. In your career as a police officer, remember that your focus should always be the citizens of this country, the people you have to serve and protect,” said Sitole.
“Use the powers granted to you with an accompanying sense of responsibility, and be ethical in all that you do. Treat all people with respect.
“Respect and humility will keep you on the right track in trying times, even when criminals try to lure you into criminality for corrupt gains. Live and work in such a way that your colleagues and the community will respect you.”
African News Agency (ANA)