New Protective Security Officers clock on as wave of resources flood back to frontline policing

Friday 12 November, 2021

Frontline SAPOL officers are continuing their transition back to business on the beat as South Australia prepares to open its borders at the magic 80% vaccination rate – and freshly-graduated Protective Security Officers (PSO) will soon be playing their part to keep the community safe from COVID-19.

Today, at the Police Academy in Taperoo, the first graduates of 114 new PSOs celebrated the completion of their intense training course, ready to begin COVID-19 duties next week.

Amongst those who graduated today was a mother-of-two, a former security officer, a recent high school graduate and a former hospitality worker – all who are excited for their new careers.

The Marshall Liberal Government boosted SAPOL’s COVID-19 response in the State Budget 2021-22 with an additional $23.6 million to extend the employment of 54 PSO’s employed in 2020-21 and training and recruitment of the extra 114 personnel.

The funding allows $15.2m in 2021-22 and a further $8.4m in 2022-23.

Police Minister Vincent Tarzia congratulated the 30 graduates on their achievement and wished them luck as the state continues working towards the full vaccination of 90% of the community.

“This wave of new resources is a huge capability boost for SAPOL and means our hardworking officers can continue returning to more traditional policing roles to keep South Australians safe,” Minister Tarzia said.

“More boots will be back on the beat where they are needed as the state emerges from the pandemic according to our crucial Covid-Ready Plan.

“We’ve given SAPOL the resources it needs to keep crime in check and handle COVID-19 when borders reopen, which will spark a rise in the number of visitors to South Australia.

“As we continue work towards a new normal way of life, if you’re not already vaccinated, I’m encouraging you to roll up and get protected against COVID-19 now.”

In their new role PSOs will operate security equipment, monitor CCTV, perform foot patrols and monitor and report on the movement of guests at quarantine facilities.

SAPOL Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams said the PSOs will initially undertake medi-hotel compliance duties by staffing security desks and controlling quarantine access.

“These first 30 PSOs will start on COVID-19 duties next week, meaning some of our frontline police officers can get back to their usual roles,” Deputy Commissioner Williams said.

“They will soon be joined by another 18 PSOs currently completing their training and by early next year all 114 additional roles will be trained and in the workforce.

“South Australia’s medi-hotels provide an important service to Australians returning home from interstate or overseas. They can undertake their quarantine in a safe environment for themselves and ultimately the local community.

“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.”

Amongst those graduated today is Dimple, a mother-of-two 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 COVID-19 response.

“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.

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.

“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.”

The rotating shifts, job security and a good work-life balance drew former security officer, Arbab, to to the PSO role.

“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.”

SAPOL continues to recruit PSOs, so if you have strong communication skills, a community-minded approach and a cool head in stressful situations, please apply HERE NOW.

You’ll be paid to train for nine weeks, to work in a strong team environment, get a uniform and a pre-planned shift work roster allowing for a flexible lifestyle.