Police relax recruiting rule amid staffing problems

SA Police will cover the cost of a TAFE test for recruiting candidates but say it is no longer a mandatory part of an application for membership as the police struggle with a staff shortage.

The 3.5-hour literacy and math exams, administered every two weeks by TAFE SA, cost $148.50 for an adult and $126.50 for a concession.

But SA Police say the fees will be waived for a limited time and will no longer be a requirement for applying to join the police force.

“For a limited time, the South Australia Police Department is accepting applications without prior completion of the SAPOL Recruitment Test with TAFE SA,” SAPOL said on its Facebook page.

“You can APPLY NOW and after we review your application, you will be invited to take the SAPOL Recruitment test at TAFE SA for free.”

The test, which covers spelling, reading comprehension, written expression and computer skills, is not required for candidates with an ATAR score above 70 or a bachelor’s degree or higher from an Australian university.

SAPOL’s decision to temporarily subsidize the tests comes after Police Commissioner Grant Stevens announced earlier this week that three cadet training courses – equivalent to 90 new police positions – had been canceled due to a shortage of candidates.

Stevens told a parliamentary estimation committee on Wednesday that SAPOL was reaching out to officers who have recently retired or resigned to gauge their interest in joining the police force.

Meanwhile, the state police union this week passed a vote of no confidence in SAPOL’s district police model.

The government of Malinauskas has set up a “Premier’s Taskforce” to make recommendations on increasing the number of police officers.

The task force will report before the end of the year.

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