Today, 41 Protective Security Officers (PSO) from Courses 7 and 8 graduated from a nine-week course at the Police Academy. These Courses are part of the additional 114 PSOs funded by the State Government to be part of frontline defence to COVID-19.
The 19 members on graduating Course 7 are aged between 18 – 46 years old.
One of the graduating PSOs is Sophie who grew up in regional Victoria before moving to South Australia three years ago to complete a Bachelor Degree in Criminology.
Sophie chose a career as a PSO because she saw opportunities for growth and development.
Reflecting on the Police Academy and training experience Sophie has said that, “”the nine weeks at the Police Academy has been a great experience. I have learnt so many new skills and I have formed strong friendships with the other members in my Course.”
Sophie is eager to work in the community, representing SAPOL and working towards the goal of keeping communities safe.
Joining Sophie and graduating today is fellow Course 7 member, Josef. Josef chose a remarkably different career with SAPOL, after working for 12 years as an airline manager and trainer. Josef is also a qualified group fitness instructor and was previously a competitive ice skater.
The aviation industry was impacted by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic which prompted Josef to apply for a role where he could transfer his skills to another industry that he has aspired to join since he was a teenager.
Josef has reflected on the training experience with positivity, saying that he feels “proud to have finally achieved his long-term goal.”
From here, Josef hopes to gain as much experience as possible and hopes to one day return to the Police Academy as a mentor and trainer.
The 22 graduating Protective Security Officers of Course 8 are aged between 18 and 58 years.
One of those graduating today is Cheryl who prior to joining SAPOL worked in retail and aged care. Cheryl also previously worked in a remote environment which allowed her to work in a diverse environment, developing skills which will be beneficial to her in the PSO role.
Cheryl has a well -rounded background gained from a myriad of life and work experiences and challenges which she is looking forward to applying in her PSO role.
Helping others and making a contribution to society were motivating reasons for Cheryl to apply to SAPOL.
Reflecting on the future, Cheryl’s aspiration is to “do the very best job” and believes the PSO role will help her grow and prosper as a person.
Along with Cheryl, is fellow graduate Andrew. Prior to joining SAPOL, Andrew worked in a number of different roles. Most notably, he spent nine years in the Country Fire Service which saw him responding to the Kangaroo Island fires. He also spent two and a half years working with people in custody which included prison guarding in hospitals and transporting prisoners around the state. Andrew also has a substantial retail and sales background.
Andrew had the honour of being nominated for a National Emergency Medal for the 2019/2020 fire season and received a citation from NSW Fires.
The motivation for Andrew applying to be a PSO was that he was looking for a role which would see him helping the community to be safer and he liked the idea of each day being different.
Andrew provided great motivation to his fellow course members, encouraging them to keep going even though he too found the course challenging and was pushed out of his comfort zone. Despite all of that, Andrew is excited to finally graduate and achieve his dream of always wanting to be in SAPOL.
Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said he was honoured to attended the latest PSO graduation ceremony.
“Already we’ve seen incredible individuals transform into well-trained and highly capable PSOs,” Minister Tarzia said.
“Every graduate helps build on SAPOL’s already huge workforce to keep the community safe and our PSO courses are a perfect opportunity for anyone looking for a new and exciting career.”
Sophie, Josef, Cheryl, Andrew and their fellow graduating PSOs will start on COVID-19 duties, initially undertaking medi-hotel compliance duties by staffing security desks and controlling access to quarantine facilities, allowing some of SAPOL’s frontline police officers to return to their usual roles. In addition, the PSOs will operate security equipment, monitor CCTV, undertake foot patrols around the medi-hotel perimeter, as well as monitor and report on the movement of guests to and from the quarantine facility.
SAPOL are always recruiting and offer more than 40 career options, including working as a Police Officer, Protective Security Officer or Community Constable.
For any information about a Police Officer or PSO role, please visit https://www.police.sa.gov.au/join-us
Today’s graduation took place in accordance with the COVID-19 Directions Activities.
Photo above (left to right): Sophie and Josef (Course 7) and Cheryl and Andrew (Course 8)