THABAZIMBI – A group of about 26 police trainees took to the road on Wednesday 20 May as part of their fitness assessment. This is the second time this month they are being assessed.
Three groups of police trainees, intakes June 2007, January 2008 and June 2008, all had to show what stuff they were made of, because the air was cold and limbs were stiff, but three distances of respectively 12 km (June 2007 intake), 10 km (Jan 2008 intake) and 6 km (June 2008) had to be covered along the Marakele road.
Trainee police officers have to complete three stages of training over a period of two years. These stages are Basic Training (6 months), Field Training (6 months) and Probation (12 months) before they are appointed permanently.
The trainees assessed on their fitness during the past two weeks are either in their Field Training or Probation stages. Other than fitness there is also a learning programme, for which trainees have to complete assignments. Therefore, police trainees receive training on both a practical and a theoretical level.
The June 2008 intake has just started its 2 month training with Criminal Investigation Services (better known as the detective branch) and Natie Groenewald, well-known Thabazimbi detective, decided to join in the 6 km run, this group was assessed on, as a show of his support. Even though some of these trainees might be fitter than the permanent staff members such as Natie, it is to be doubted whether any of them dared outrun this experienced detective on Wednesday morning.
Other phases which are also completed during the Field Training stage is a two month stint in Community Service and two months in Crime Prevention.
According to Field Training Officer for the Thabazimbi Cluster, Inspector Steven Papo, the June 2007 intake is passing out on 3 July this year when they become “flash” police constables. The other two intakes pass out in 6 and 12 months respectively after the June 2007 intake.
Inspector Papo urged locals in possession of a driver’s licence, a matric certificate and a barcode ID who are interested in a career in the police to submit applications to him. The police is also recruiting reservists, for which different categories exist. A reservist applicant only has to be in possession of a matric certificate and barcode ID.