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In The Force

To inform and protect

Community Engagement officers play an essential role in driving the SPF’s partnership efforts.

TEXT SPF
PHOTOS SPF

Operating at the heart of our community, the Community Engagement (CE) Officers’ policing work involves liaising with the wider public. Their aim is to actively educate and raise awareness on illegal/unlawful activities through Crime Prevention exhibitions and road shows, house-to-house visits and advisory posters in our neighbourhoods. In addition, they partner with external stakeholders to organise school talks and Citizens on Patrol (COP) activities.

Citizens on Patrol is a volunteer programme where members look out for and report suspicious activities, as well as promote crime prevention measures in their community, to jointly create a safer living environment.

   

To achieve greater effectiveness in their engagement efforts, CE Officers are trained to develop both service-oriented skills and mindsets. The training improves their communication skills and helps them establish strong rapport with the public.

CE is one of many vocations open to Police Full-time National Servicemen (PNSFs) such as SC/CPL Nur Hakim Hazrin from Foxtrot Division. Here, he shares his enriching journey serving the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the public as a CE Officer.

STAYING ADAPTABLE

Due to COVID-19, CE Officers’ engagement efforts have gone online. While this necessitated new processes, SC/CPL Hakim and his colleagues have adapted and successfully organised various virtual activities. These included training COP volunteers and crime prevention talks for pre-schoolers.

   

SC/CPL Hakim conducting virtual training sessions for the Citizens on Patrol programme.

STAYING POSITIVE

One of the most challenging work experiences SC/CPL Hakim faced was when he had to engage a handful of uncooperative scam victims. They expressed little to no interest when he advised them to sign up for the Community Alert Service (CAS). This made it demoralising and difficult for SC/CPL Hakim to communicate with them.

However, with constant practice and support from his colleagues, SC/CPL Hakim adopted a positive mindset, allowing him to perform his duties more confidently.

For instance, if he makes a mistake while handling a complaint from the public, he keeps his chin up and learns how to handle such situations better in future. This gives SC/CPL Hakim added confidence when performing his duties.

With the increasing number of scams, CE Officers strongly encourage the public to subscribe to the Police Community Alert Service (CAS). Subscribers receive free alerts about the latest crime trends and advice on crime prevention measures. By keeping updated through CAS, members of the public will become more vigilant and less likely to become victims of crime.

STAYING INSPIRED

SC/CPL Hakim strongly believes that the work he does is meaningful and worthwhile, and he was able to learn public speaking, improve rapport-building skills and achieve a service-oriented mindset. Being further inspired by the CE Officers’ framework of volunteerism, SC/CPL Hakim goes the extra mile and volunteers during his free time.

An active volunteer at the Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre (AMKFSC), he recently befriended seniors at AMKFSC. This gave him a better understanding of older residents. He also hopes his newfound knowledge will enable him to better assist them during his policing duties.

CE Officers work closely together with the community to help maintain a safe and secure living environment for all. The vocation also goes to show that PNSFs can contribute to frontline policing effort in various ways, and that the work they do is just as essential as that done by any other frontline police officers in safeguarding Singapore.

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In The Force

Different ways to serve

The SCDF’s Data Analytics Specialist vocation offers a meaningful and enriching National Service that has set these two NSFs on tech-related career paths.

TEXT AND IMAGE: SCDF

Emergency Medical Technicians and Fire & Rescue Specialists are typical examples of vocations associated with full-time National Service (NS) in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
However, there are many other options in the Lifesaving Force — one of which is Data Analytics Specialist with the organisation’s Transformation & Future Technology Department (TFTD). Here, full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) are trained to assist in managing projects involving computing and data analysis.

LCP(NSF) Ian Tay Rongde (front) and LCP(NSF) Mahadhir Bin Mohd Ismail (back) working on their assignments in office.

 

DEDICATED TECH TEAM

LCP(NSF) Tay is part of a team working on an algorithm to support the SCDF’s Inventory Management System (IMS), which enables it to be more proactive and efficient in ensuring its lifesaving inventory is readily available.

“The IMS is an automated system that prompts officers in the Logistics Department that an item requires replenishment. The algorithm aims to reduce the chances of such shortages,” explains LCP(NSF) Tay, who has been working on the project since October 2020 — just four months into his posting at TFTD.

LCP(NSF) Tay adds that programming the algorithm to ensure the efficiency of the IMS requires weeks of academic research, system testing and evaluation.

OPTIMISING RESPONSE TIMES

Working on the Dynamic Resource Optimisation (DRO) is LCP(NSF) Mahadhir, who was posted to TFTD in January 2020. The DRO is a system developed by Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) and the Singapore Management University (SMU).

It aims to assist SCDF’s Operations Department and Emergency Medical Services Department (EMSD) in making strategic decisions to deploy emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, at different locations across Singapore. Doing so optimises the response times of ambulances to incident sites during an emergency.

“One recent simulation is for the EMS masterplan, which aims to increase the number of deployment locations across the island,” says LCP(NSF) Mahadhir. “The selection of the new deployment locations is based on historical data. Locations nearer to places with higher call loads will be given a higher priority — which means we will deploy more ambulances to that area.”

A VIABLE CAREER PATH

Before his posting to TFTD, LCP(NSF) Mahadhir was still exploring career options. It was during his stint with TFTD that he developed a keen interest in computer science. He is now planning to pursue a degree in computer science after serving his full-time National Service.

“Engineering is gearing towards the use of automated systems and big-data analysis. Python and Excel are vital software skills to have if you want to pursue a career in Engineering or Computer Science. The skills and knowledge we gain here in TFTD help us to think like data scientists, and prepare us well for future pursuits in our studies and career,” says LCP(NSF) Tay.

LCP(NSF) Tay has received a scholarship to pursue a degree in material engineering at the National University of Singapore and plans to subsequently do his master’s degree in data analytics. He adds that serving his NS in TFTD is not only meaningful and enriching but also provides him and his fellow NSFs an added advantage for their future endeavours.

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In The Force

Handmade with purpose

Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) youth volunteer Cheong Yen Ee shares her motivation for volunteering and how she uses her crocheting skills to show her support for ex-offenders.

TEXT: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
IMAGES: CHEONG YEN EE

Crocheting has been a hobby of Ms Cheong Yen Ee, 22, since 2018 — and she’s so good at it that many of her friends have actually suggested that she start a small business selling her handicrafts. “Yet something always stopped me from pursuing this thought further,” she says. “Deep down, I knew I was doing this for a different purpose.”

When Yen Ee first started her needlework, she remembered looking at her piece of poorly-crocheted fabric and thinking that it looked to be a wasted effort. But she was able to unravel her mistake and slowly, lovingly and meticulously re-stitch the yarn. To her, that moment symbolised a new opportunity, a clean slate, a time to start over. She felt liberated knowing that everyone has a second chance.

CREATING SECOND CHANCES

Yen Ee may not fully understand how hard it can be to make a fresh start in life, but she was eager to help inmates and ex-offenders.

“I’m only 22 and I’m sure they are facing situations that are a lot harder than anything I can imagine. But I believe that the act of letting go and trying again is a collective effort. It is a laborious and tedious journey, but I hope that it will be one that gives hope to inmates and ex-offenders for their future,” she says.

Yen Ee contacted YRP to propose a collaboration with them and was connected to a team of dedicated YRP staff. She has been volunteering with YRP since February 2021.

Through a series of online lessons over the past months, Yen Ee worked with 36 volunteers from Singapore Management University and more than 50 inmates and ex-offenders from the Singapore Prison Service, halfway houses and shelters to teach them how to crochet yellow ribbons. She also created a tutorial video and conducted two Zoom sessions to train an additional 20 YRP volunteers for Project Crochet.

KNIT YOUR SUPPORT

An ex-offender’s rehabilitation journey often involves unravelling what has been done and making a fresh start, just like in crocheting. In a joint effort with inmates, ex-offenders and YRP volunteers, YRP is aiming to create 5,000 Yellow Ribbon Pins for the Yellow Ribbon Crochet Project. These pins will be included in the DIY Yellow Ribbon Packs that will be distributed to partners and the public through various platforms. “We hope to motivate every Singaporean to join the Yellow Ribbon Crochet Project and to show your acceptance and commitment to support second chances with every stitch,” says Yen Ee.

Find out how Yellow Ribbon Singapore can help others gain a second chance.

 

Visit mha.gov.sg/volunteers and volunteer.gov.sg/mha for more information about their volunteer schemes or connect with the Home Team Volunteer Network on InstagramFacebook or TikTok.

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In The Force

To be the best that he can be

SC/SGT(1) Chan Jeng Hin, a PNSF who has gone through the gruelling training of Special Operations Command, shares his experiences of serving in the unit.

TEXT: SPF
IMAGES: SPF

Joining the Special Operations Command (SOC) is an ambition of many Police Full-time National Servicemen (PNSFs), but to be a member of this elite unit is no easy feat, as officers undergo extremely rigorous training — from tough physical drills to scenario-based exercises and even handling special weapons and vehicles such as the water cannon vehicle.

SC/SGT(1) Chan Jeng Hin is among the selected PNSFs who have completed SOC training. Currently an Assistant Trainer in the School of Tactical Competency Development (STCD), his exemplary performance saw him graduate among the top 5 percent of his batch and earned him the Best Ops and Fitness title. With a thirst for self-improvement and a friendly rivalry between his troopmates, SC/SGT(1) Chan pushes himself to the fullest during every physical training session; always striving to be better.

SETTING THE BAR

Braving dangers and hardships, all SOC officers regardless of their specialisation are highly trained and well-equipped so they can perform their duties with great speed and focus, ensuring the safety of Singapore.

As an Assistant Trainer, SC/SGT(1) Chan is closely involved in all the physical training for PNSFs, including Close Quarter Combat (CQC), Armed Strike Team (AST), and the Police Tactical Course (PTC). He shares that the PTC is a rite of passage for trainees before they officially become an SOC Trooper.

The PTC is a 12-week-long course that includes mainly Public Order (PO) and Public Security (PS) training. This course aims to develop the trainees’ mental and physical resilience, as well as hone their leadership qualities and instill the important values a PTU Trooper should and must have. 

SOC trainees undergoing the Police Tactical Course.

Serving as an Assistant Trainer has given SC/SGT(1) Chan opportunities to interact with people from all walks of life, including his trainees, supervisors and members of public. This has taught him how to better communicate and empathise with those around him. He also takes pride in being a trainer and hopes to make life in NS more fulfilling for his trainees by passing down important values and lessons.

“I am humbled to serve and stand alongside SPF’s finest special operators and troopers to protect the people. I have found purpose in what I am doing and expectations I am to uphold.”

SC/SGT(1) Chan Jeng Hin

WHAT IT MEANS TO SERVE IN THE PTU

The Special Operations Command (SOC) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) is home to the Special Tactics and Rescue (STAR) unit, the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) and the K-9 Police Unit. Mainly tasked to deal with emergency situations like riots and terrorism, the PTU (or Riot Squad, as it was originally called) was formed in 1952 to deal with Public Order situations after the Maria Hertogh riots.

It was then revamped after the Mumbai attacks in 2008 to deal with more sophisticated Public Security incidents. As such, PTU officers are required to have higher standards than their SPF peers in both their physical fitness and mental fortitude.

Forged by adversity through the years, PTU Troopers stand at the forefront of tactical excellence to bring the full spectrum of combat power in order to execute their duties swiftly and successfully.

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