On Friday 30 Protective Security Officers (PSOs) graduated from a nine-week course at the Police Academy. They are the first of an additional 114 PSOs funded by the State Government to be part of frontline defence to COVID-19.
Amongst those graduating was Dimple, a mother of two boys who previously worked in Disability Services for the Department of Human Services.
“By becoming a PSO I am able to represent my Indian community and use this opportunity to contribute to the safety of Australian citizens during this global pandemic,” Dimple said.
“As we watch the coronavirus pandemic play out on a global scale, it’s easy to feel helpless, but no matter who you are or what your situation is, you can always make a difference.
“This role provides me a chance to give back to the community, showing my gratitude for the support I have received since moving to Australia 16 years ago. It feels great to reinforce community ties and this role reminds me that we are all working towards a common goal.”
Former hospitality worker Timothy is also looking forward to contributing to the state’s response to COVID-19.
“The economy has taken a huge hit from the pandemic, and to be a part of the recovery of not only our state, but the country, is rewarding,” Timothy said.
Timothy encourages anyone contemplating a career change as a PSO to start the recruitment process.
“There are so many great skills that we learn during our time at the Academy. Knowing all that we are learning is of such importance is exceptionally gratifying, as everything we learn is for a larger purpose working with and assisting the community,” he said.
The rotating shifts, job security and a work life balance drew former security officer, Arbab, to become a PSO.
“The training program was very intense and physically demanding, my favourite part was the defensive tactics,” Arbab said.
“The trainers and mentors at the Police Academy are very knowledgeable and friendly, and every single day you learn something new.
“Being a PSO is a rewarding career, it is different, interesting, and exciting, you make new friends, and the sense of teamwork is extraordinary.”
Recent high school graduate and customer service worker, Matthew is looking forward to positively contributing to the safety of his community.
“I feel that being deployed in the medi-hotels will help ensure that by keeping my community safe, I can keep my loved ones safe as well,” Matthew said.
“The most beneficial part of my training at the Academy has been the application of the legislation through scenario-based training because it took me out of my comfort zone.
“For anyone thinking of a career as a PSO, you must be willing to adapt to situations that make you have to think on your feet. Make a decision and be confident.”
These first 30 PSOs will start on COVID-19 duties next week, initially undertaking medi-hotel compliance duties by staffing security desks and controlling access to quarantine facilities, allowing some of our frontline police officers returning to their usual roles.
Part of the role for the PSOs will be operating security equipment, monitoring CCTV, doing foot patrols around the medi-hotel perimeter, as well as monitoring and reporting on the movement of guests to and from the quarantine facility.
As the COVID-19 restrictions continue to change over the coming months, the PSOs will also assist in any other COVID-19 compliance duties required.
The response from the community and their interest in these positions has been extremely positive. However, SA Police continues to recruit for PSOs, so if you know anyone who has strong communication skills, a community-minded approach, and a cool head in stressful situations please encourage them to apply now.
They’ll receive paid training for nine weeks, a uniform is provided, and they’ll undertake pre-planned shift work, meaning a flexible lifestyle and working in a strong team environment.
Visit achievemore.com.au for further information and an application form.