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Commissioner Stevens Announces Boost to Police Resources

10 Jun 2021 1:31pm

Police officers will return to frontline operational duties under a bold plan supported by the South Australian Government, which will see an additional 114 fully trained Protective Security Officers (PSO) deployed to medi-hotels. SA Police is now recruiting for these roles.

Commissioner of Police Grant Stevens said the protracted requirement to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly stretched SAPOL’s existing workforce and this new initiative brings with it a welcome relief.

“I have been holding discussions with government about the impacts of COVID-19 on our workforce for some time.  I have been very pleased with the response received, allowing us to deliver this initiative,” Commissioner Stevens said.

The South Australian Government has committed $23.6 million over two years, which will enable 168 PSOs to be dedicated to COVID-19 response duties. This funding will see police officers released from medi-hotels and returned to their substantive policing roles.

The unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on SAPOL as an organisation, especially those who deliver frontline services.

“SAPOL’s efforts to ease pressure on frontline police began in 2020. Talks with government have now seen funding secured for 54 additional PSOs who have now all been deployed on COVID-19 response duties,” Commissioner Stevens said.

“This was in addition to securing government funding for 72 extra police officers, some of whom have already been deployed to policing duties, while others are currently finalising recruit training. This next step is a very positive move by government.”

A career as a PSO is challenging, rewarding and contributes to South Australia’s counter terrorism strategies, as well as community safety. In this role, the primary function is to maintain the security of government facilities, public officials and the community. PSOs are also deployed to SAPOL COVID-19 operations in duties commensurate with their training and qualifications. The training course is nine weeks, and it’s paid.

If you are interested in becoming a Protective Security Officer, find out more about the role, and apply at https://www.police.sa.gov.au/join-us/achievemore/protective-security-officer-careers/covid-19-protective-security-officer