The South Australian police force is the oldest centrally controlled police service in Australia and one of the oldest in the world.
It was formed on 28 April 1838 after concerns about felons entering the new settlement from neighbouring colonies.
The first police force comprised 10 Mounted Constables and 10 Foot Constables under the command of Inspector Henry Inman.
In 1840 Major Thomas Shouldham O'Halloran was appointed as the first Commissioner of Police. SAPOL comprised one Superintendent, two Inspectors, three Sergeants and 47 Constables. It was divided into foot and mounted sections.
The police provided a fire service from 1848 to 1867 until the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service was formed.
Police officers operated the Civil Ambulance Service from 1880 until it was taken over by the St John Ambulance Brigade in 1954.
- Emergency assistance on 000
- Non-urgent assistance on 131 444
- Crime prevention
- Child protection
- Coordinating and managing emergency response
- Responding to domestic violence
- Undertaking police checks
- Preventing vehicle crashes
- Regulating road use
- Registration and licensing of firearms
- Administering expiation notices
- Liquor licencing enforcement
- State-wide security
- Upholding the law