The SA Police Service (SAPS) started training of more than 2 000 reservists and security officers at its academies nationwide.
The cohort previously served as reservists in the SAPS.
In a statement SAPS said the reservists and security officers, appointed as in December last year, officially started constable training on Monday.
“The move to appoint and subsequently train these reservists as permanent SAPS members aims to bolster capacity and ensure more boots on the ground to serve communities,” police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe, said in the statement.
Reservists are individuals who in their respective communities voluntarily offer their services to police assisting officers in crime-fighting initiatives.
“Prior to appointment as reservists, they undergo a selection process that requires psychological assessment as well as physical and medical examinations as determined by the National Commissioner,” said Mathe.
Successful applicants are then subjected to an in-service training programme called the Reservists Development Learning Programme. This is a three-phase programme of theory, practical and tactical and firearm training.
“This provides the reservist with the necessary skills to ensure that the reservist is developed in the policing field to safely and effectively perform duties.”
Roles and responsibilities include duties in the Community Service Centre, patrols, security guards as well as administrative work under the supervision of a SAPS official.
Health and safety protocols
The SAPS said, in line with its health and safety protocols and adhering to regulations for the containment, management and prevention of the spread of COVID-19, 2 469 reservists out of 2 504 reported to the eight training academies nationwide.
“Reasons including health related matters led to some being turned away. To minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19, reservists were expected to produce a medical certificate confirming they had tested negative, 48 hours before reporting for training.
“Fourteen reservists whose tests came back positive were not able to report for training and are self-isolating,” said Mathe.
Three streams of recruitment
The decision to capacitate service points and units with reservists was taken during a Recruitment Indaba in July 2019 in Pretoria.
The Indaba saw the introduction of three recruitment streams. They include the Basic Police Learning Development and Introductory Police Learning Development programmes.
Stream 1 (Normal) consists of applicants in possession of a Senior Certificate / National Senior Certificate / National Certificate (Vocational); and/or applicants who successfully completed the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) military skills development (MSD) programme and serving Public Service Act Personnel in the SAPS.
Stream 2 (Graduate) consists of applicants who completed a three-year National Diploma / Degree recorded on the National Learner Record Database (NLRD) on at least a NQF 6 or higher level in Law / Policing / Criminology / Law Enforcement / Forensic Investigation.
Stream 3 (Reservist) consists of permanent enlistment of current active serving Reservists (to be employed as constables with permanent service benefits)
“Appointment of these reservists was advertised internally while stream 1 and stream 2 posts were advertised externally.”
From this4 682 reservists applied. Among them are security officials who did prescribed Reservists Development Learning Programme.
Mathe said applicants were subjected to selection processes including psychometric, integrity and physical fitness assessments and interviews, after which Provincial Police and Community Recruitment Boards finalised recommendations and selection of applicants.
“The selection process for stream 1 and 2 is still on hold and applicants will be informed when it resumes,” she said.
The SAPS consulted extensively with external roleplayers including organised labour.
The newly appointed constables will undergo a four month training programme to develop in several fields.
On successful completion of the programme, members will deploy to serve at stations, service points and units in their communities.