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Women in policing

To show our support for International Women’s Day, celebrated each year on 8 March, SAPOL has released a series of videos for 2021 and 2022.

For 2022 we #breakthebias by featuring five SAPOL women addressing some misconceptions about women in policing.

For 2021, the five SAPOL women share their leadership journey and pathway to their current field. The UN Women theme for 2021 was “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

Watch another video in our Women in Policing series below.

A career with the police is attracting a growing number of women, and it can be an exciting and rewarding option for you, too. Female officers span all levels of SA Police, from senior management and specialist positions to frontline patrols. And we’re always looking for more talented women to join our team.

When you join us, you’ll be based at the Police Academy, in our supportive, state-of-the-art learning environment. Here, you’ll not only gain essential law enforcement skills and knowledge, but also develop the self-confidence, assertiveness and strength of character that are critical to a job with the police.

We offer a diverse range of career options, which means that no matter where your interests lie, you can find a field that’s the right fit for you. Some of these career pathways include:

  • dog and mounted operations
  • prosecution services
  • crime scene investigation
  • criminal investigations
  • crime prevention
  • youth programs
  • human resources
  • training and development

SA Police supports a healthy work-life balance for our officers, with six weeks of recreational leave every year as well as other entitlements, such as maternity leave (paid after 12 months) and opportunities for flexible work hours (after your probationary period). And, with benefits that include professional training, competitive salaries, and a supportive work culture, you’ll find it a great place to work.

Working at SA Police

Our female officers come from a variety of backgrounds and draw on their individual skills, strengths and experiences. The following videos highlight a number of our officers – why they chose a career in policing, their roles and aspirations, and the opportunities they have pursued in their policing careers.

Sarah is one of the forty new officers that graduated in the first double graduation for 2018. Probationary Constable Sarah joined SA Police because she is keen to make a positive difference in the community while challenging herself mentally and physically. Starting her career in the Elizabeth Local Service Area, she is keen to become a detective and work with the Serious and Organised Crime Branch in the future.

After graduating university, Kathryn wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She took the plunge to become a police officer and now can’t imagine doing anything else.

Download Kathryn's transcript

Starting her working life as a veterinary nurse, Sarah later decided she wanted a career with more opportunities for growth and stimulation. Her search led her to policing.

Download Sarah's transcript

After Natasha gained some general law enforcement experience, her interest in photography attracted her to a role in forensics and ultimately to a career as a crime scene investigator.

Download Natasha's transcript

Before joining SA Police, Lisa worked in pharmacy for seven years but felt she had progressed as far as she could. She appreciated the career progression that SA Police offered, as well as the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the community. She’s now a protective security officer and on the path to becoming a police officer.

Download Lisa's transcript

Health and fitness

Although you certainly don’t need to be an elite athlete to become a police officer, a healthy level of fitness is necessary.

To carry out policing duties, you must be able to complete our ‘fit for duty’ test. To be competitive, you need to complete the test in less than two minutes and thirty seconds. Police cadets must also achieve this level to graduate from the Constable Development Program.

The test is challenging, so it’s best to start a gradual cardiovascular exercise program in preparation.

We’re not seeking Olympians; we’re seeking you. Do you already have what it takes?

Check out our fit for duty test video to see what’s involved or read more about the fit for duty assessment.

Uniform and appearance

When you put on your uniform, you’ll be representing both SA Police and the community, so you’re expected to take pride in your appearance and conduct.

Female officers may wear make-up and jewellery when in uniform, in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Hair is to be neatly groomed at all times and secured in a bun if longer than 2.5cm below the collar (no ponytails, loose plaits, or braids).
  • Only natural-coloured hair dyes are permitted, and you can have no lines or words shaved or cut into any hairstyle.
  • Make-up is to appear natural. Fingernails are not to exceed 3mm above the fingertip, and nail polish is not to be glittery, fluoro, or garish in colour.
  • Wristwatches and wedding, signet, or similar rings are allowed. Uniform employees may wear one single stud earring in each ear, providing the stud does not protrude below the lobe or the side of the ear. No other jewellery or visible body piercings are permitted.
  • Visible non-offensive tattoos that do not offend SAPOL’s values and professionalism are now permitted. Visible tattoos are not permitted on the face, ears, scalp, head, or the front and side of the neck.  Any contentious tattoos will be the subject of review by the Dress Standards Committee.

Want to find out more?

We know that choosing a career in policing is a big decision – that’s why we run regular pre-application information sessions that give you the chance to ask all your questions and get answers.

Register today to attend one of our sessions and learn more about our recruitment process.

Think you’re ready for the challenge of becoming a police officer?

Apply now

You can complete a quick self-assessment to confirm your eligibility, then download the application resources you need to begin the application process.