Do you have a passion for justice? Have you ever watched a superhero movie and dreamed of saving lives – but perhaps in better outfits? Have you ever considered joining the South African Police Service (SAPS)?

Well, listen up.  This is your chance to get the low-down on what it actually takes to be a real-life superhero.

South African Police Service: Sign Me Up

But before you do, what does it mean to be part of the police service?  A police officer prevents, combats and investigates crime. They are called to criminal situations such as robberies, domestic incidents, drug busts and the like and patrol the streets to look out for suspicious activity. Sounds hectic, right? However,  becoming a member of the South African Police Service is not as difficult as you might think.

SAPS: How to Join

SAPS advertise trials in the newspaper throughout the year. Luckily, this job doesn’t require a diploma or degree, but you do need to have passed the Matric standard, compulsory subjects – English, Afrikaans/ isiZulu/ isiXhosa, Mathematics/ Mathematical Literacy and Life Orientation. There are a few other requirements:

  • You must be a South African citizen
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have a valid drivers license
  • You must not have a criminal record

Police Service Expectations

As a South African Police officer, you will be expected to exhibit good communication skills and be calm as well as even-tempered, because you’re going to have to act decisively and without hesitation.  Being physically fit is also important – that’s where the trials come in. You will also have to undergo psychometric testing, which determines intelligence, aptitude, and personality, as well as a medical exam.

 Cool, cool, cool.  Thank you, Next

Once you’re accepted, you’ll go to a SAPS academy for eight months. Training is a combination of theory and practical, which includes fire-arm training, legal principles and fitness assessments. You will have to visit police stations after practical sessions, where you will observe things such as registering case dockets and completion of official registers.

Once you’ve successfully completed the programme, you will be placed at a police station or public order police unitfor a 12-month probation to gain further practical experience and training.

You’ll be expected to work 12-hour day/night shifts and once you’ve moved up through the ranks, your hours may change. Be prepared for the possibility of physical altercations, putting your life on the line and possibly having to shoot someone.  Normal superhero stuff.

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