The City of Johannesburg is retraining over 1,000 Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) cadets, who were recalled due to inadequate training.
The officers, who were recruited in April 2018, were recalled after graduating from college last year because of regulatory flaws in their two-year training programme.
The city’s Mally Mokoena said that the cadets are now set to graduate at the end of 2020.
“Our decision to recall the trainees had no malicious intent. It was based wholly on our obligation to ensure that due processes are followed and that the lives of the trainees and residents are not jeopardised by placing ill-prepared officers on our streets,” said Mokoena.
The officers, who are completing their training in Soweto and at the JMPD Training Academy near Booysens, “will serve at the frontline of the war against crime and grime, by-law and traffic infringements,” Mokoena said.
It is the first time in the history of the city that more than 600 cadets are being trained at once to be officers, she said.
An internal audit conducted in January found that among other systematic defects in the training process, the officers had incomplete portfolios of evidence, had written backdated exams, and some did not have verifiable proof of their training.
“These are only a few of the myriad of missteps made during the training of the recruits,” she said.
The city’s decision to recall trainees were given credence by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), which said all unit standards for their intake had not been internally verified and that the college must not issue Diplomas until this process had been completed, Mokoena said.
She said that the cadets have been recently dispatched to several areas of Johannesburg, including Kliptown, Pimville and Diepkloof to conduct vehicle inspections and data capturing as part of their practical training.
“I wish to reaffirm the City’s unwavering commitment to ensure that the recruits complete their training and serve residents with the utmost distinction. The department will not compromise on the quality of officers sent out to the streets merely for public or political expediency,” she said.
Mokoena said the thousands of JMPD cadets who were recruited in the full glare of publicity are getting in shape and will complete their training in December 2020.
“The officers are trained to enforce the law professionally, and to withstand the temptation to be corrupt,” the city said.