Categories
In The Force

Empowered to save lives

With myResponder, SCDF ORNSmen such as Sergeant1 (V) William Lim Wei Loon are always prepared for emergencies.

TEXT AND PHOTO: SCDF

Community First Responders (CFRs) have always played a pivotal role in times of need. Smart solutions like the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)’s myResponder mobile application (app) significantly enhance their response to emergencies. Launched in 2019, more than 100,000 CFRs have registered with the app. These responders include members of the public, as well as in-house personnel such as the SCDF Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) men and volunteers from the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU).

READY TO RESPOND

“I would have the myResponder app turned on, even at work, so that I could respond to any emergency happening nearby,” shared SGT1 (V) William Lim Wei Loon, an Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) Fire and Rescue Specialist with 1st SCDF Division, who works as a retail supervisor at NTUC FairPrice.

SGT1 (V) Lim completed his full-time National Service (NSF) in 2008 and joined the CDAU as a volunteer firefighter in 2011. “Since my NSF days, I have been trained to be very alert to my surrounding environment, and my first instinct is to always check for any emergency nearby,” he added.

THINKING ON HIS FEET

It was through the myResponder app that SGT1 (V) Lim was alerted to a rubbish bin fire at a void deck in Bukit Batok at about 3am one morning. When he arrived at the location there was neither a fire hose nor an extinguisher nearby.

After surveying the area, he spotted a funeral wake a block away and rushed over to request for assistance to put out the fire. “Whenever I respond to a fire incident, I have to be creative enough to find an effective solution to a problem in the fastest way possible,” said SGT1 (V) Lim. “The people there were very kind and they helped me to extinguish the fire using pails of water from the temporary toilets located outside the funeral hall.”

Besides responding to the myResponder app’s alerts, SGT1 (V) Lim also extinguished a rubbish bin fire near his home two years ago. He was alerted to the blaze after hearing an explosion in his neighbourhood. He rushed to the location but the flames had already spread to a minivan parked nearby.

“As I did not want any passers-by to be harmed, I put out the fire with two fire extinguishers that were taken from the nearby coffeeshop before the firefighters arrived. At the same time, I had to ensure that no one was injured,” said SGT1 (V) Lim.

He added: “As a CFR, I am touched whenever a member of the public thanked me for helping him or her through a crisis. That keeps me going as a volunteer with the SCDF!”

Find out more about how you can make a difference in your community with the CDAU and how other MHA volunteers are helping to keep their neighbourhoods safe.

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.

Categories
In The Force

Putting others first

Meet Mr Choo Hock Hua, an active 75-year-old who enjoys spreading the word about crime prevention and caring for fellow seniors.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: MHA

“Singapore is a safe country, but low crime doesn’t mean no crime”, says Mr Choo Hock Hua, 75, a Crime Prevention Ambassador (CPA) who has been volunteering with the National Crime Prevention Council for 18 years.  When asked what his motivation as a volunteer was, Mr Choo said he finds meaning in serving the community. “I see the role and function of the National Crime Prevention Council as a good cause to further enhance the safety and security of Singapore. Joining the CPA programme allows me to help spread the crime prevention message to Singaporeans,” he says.

As a CPA volunteer, Mr Choo helps to conduct crime prevention talks and organise crime prevention exhibitions to educate the community, especially senior citizens. He shares updates about criminal tactics and advises them on simple crime prevention measures to safeguard themselves. “For example, when they receive a suspicious phone call (that they) believe to be a scam, they should practice the: ‘Don’t Panic, Don’t Believe, Don’t Give,’ mantra,” he explains. Mr Choo and his team works closely with Central Police Station officers to conduct chit chat sessions with the elderlies, mostly in dialects. He would share crime prevention messages and distribute crime prevention brochures. The brochures highlight various crimes and their prevention such as online purchase scam, investment scam, impersonation scams and love scam. “I believe that by constantly chit chatting with the elderly, they would remember simple crime prevention message so as to protect themselves from being a victim of crime. In addition to volunteering as a CPA, Mr Choo also serves as a grassroots leader at the Chin Swee Residents’ Committee (RC), a role he has taken in for the past 20 years. He is thus very passionate about caring for the elderly.

TO THE RESCUE

Mr Choo giving a gift pack to an elderly resident after the flu injection exercise in December 2021.

CPAs are sometimes involved in non-crime prevention activities as well. During a flu vaccination exercise in December 2021, many senior residents had difficulty getting their shots due to mobility issues. Mr Choo and a team of CPAs, who are also grassroots leaders, visited their homes to assist with the flu shots, which were administered by certified nurses.

They also presented each senior with a gift bag of daily necessities prepared by the RC, which reduce the need for them to venture outside their homes after their injection. “Seeing the residents smile and nodding their heads in acknowledging our efforts made me feel proud and keeps me motivated to serve the community. I will continue to serve the elderly in Chin Swee as long as my assistance is required,” says Mr Choo.

ENCOURAGING VOLUNTEERISM

Mr Choo tells Frontline that he intends to continue volunteering with CPA, and strongly encourages others to use their time for a meaningful cause. “Crime Prevention is everybody’s responsibility. It’s like brushing your teeth and washing your face; we need to do them daily,” says Mr Choo.

“Likewise, every day we must look out for one another in our family and neighbourhood. We should be wary of dubious get-rich-quick schemes and online that are too good to be true. This will help protect us and our family from becoming victims of crime.”

Mr Choo also highlights the importance of work-life balance when volunteering. “It is essential to plan ahead and have a contingency plan,” he says. “I am lucky to have a supportive wife and a team of helpful and cooperative grassroots leaders to help me whenever I am involved in CPA activities.”

GET INVOLVED

The Crime Prevention Ambassador (CPA) volunteer was a scheme launched in 2002 by the Crime Prevention Council (CPC). The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting public awareness of and concern about crime and to propagate the concept of self-help in crime prevention.

The Council comprises representatives from the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as from the public sector and the Singapore Police Force (SPF). CPAs help to share and promote crime prevention messages to your peers and also the wider community.

Come and join Mr Choo as a CPA or as a Home Team Volunteer for a good cause today!

Find out more on how you can make a difference in your community and how other MHA volunteers are helping to keep their neighbourhoods safe.

Categories
In The Force

Making 2022 count

NSPI Fredric Kong looks forward to reaching greater heights in the year ahead while reflecting on the lessons learnt in the past year.

TEXT: HOMETEAMNS
PHOTOS: FREDRIC KONG

In 2022, NSPI Fredric Kong will have plenty of opportunities to accomplish his goals as a Company Adjutant in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) – a vocation overseeing a company’s discipline, welfare, administration and training targets.

NSPI Kong aims to inspire and shape the over 500 trainees under his care into motivated, disciplined and competent police officers. He believes that giving the trainees goals and a sense of purpose, as well as making training realistic and enjoyable, are essential. He also hopes to share with them his frontline experiences during an attachment to a Neighbourhood Police Centre.

BECOMING A LEADER

Passing out from the Officer Cadet Course (OCC) as a commissioned senior officer did not come easy. In 2021, NSPI Kong underwent the demanding nine-month course at the Training Command, which required the officer cadets (OCTs) to be versed in general and criminal law, as well as policing skills and procedures on responses to various incidents as a Ground Response Force officer. Given the emphasis on leadership and decision-making, these skills were then tested in a command centre virtual simulation exercise where the OCTs were required to oversee ground forces in response to various incidents.

In addition, the OCTs went through a gruelling 19-day leadership course with the Outward Bound School (OBS) at Pulau Ubin. Upon graduation from the OCC, these newly minted National Service Probationary Inspectors (NSPIs) would then move on to undertake important positions at various departments or specialist units, such as the Special Operations Command (SOC) or the Protective Security Command (ProCom).

TAKING THE LEAD

NSPI Kong believes in the importance of giving trainees goals and a sense of purpose.

In the new year, NSPI Kong recalls what he had learnt from two memorable experiences during his OCC. The first involved months of hard work and long training hours, which culminated in him marching proudly as part of the Police Guard-of-Honour Contingent at the National Day Parade (NDP) – twice – on the 9th and 21st August 2021.

Weeks before the NDP, the participants were balancing rehearsal commitments with their coursework, an upcoming summative criminal law assessment, an Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) and a Stay Home Order (as part of the parade’s safe management measures due to the fluctuating COVID-19 situation).

NSPI Kong, who was the squad’s Vice-Chairman, decided that he needed to take action to help his squad succeed. He worked closely with his squad’s Academic and Sports ICs to implement supplementary programmes to help his squadmates prepare for the assessment and enhance their fitness for the IPPT. NSPI Kong also personally produced mock exam questions and hosted pre-exam review sessions. “The key was being proactive,” he reflected. “That was what made all the difference.”

Now as a Company Adjutant, NSPI Kong wants to continue exercising initiative and enhance training opportunities. He already has several ideas in mind for 2022 and is working with his supervisors to realise them.

IN GOOD COMPANY

The second experience took place amid the choppy waves at the Northern tip of Singapore during a five-day sea expedition with OBS. At the time, NSPI Kong and his team braved an unforgiving downpour while having to maintain a compact fleet formation. However, in the middle of facing the storm, they were rewarded with an unforgettable sight. “I saw that as it grew more radiant, two brilliant arcs of prismatic light – a double rainbow – had emerged from the fog,” he recounted.

These moments with his squadmates made him appreciate and treasure the camaraderie that they had built over the past nine months. Having once been a trainee himself, he hopes the trainees never forget to treasure the moments along the way, even in their short two-year National Service (NS) stint. To make their time in NS rich and meaningful, he is ready to work hard with his team of Field Instructors and Course Managers.

A JOURNEY OF LEARNING

NSPI Kong will be pursuing a PhD programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after completing his full-time NS and aims to complete writing one or two research papers during his weekends by the end of 2022. Despite committing most of his time to carrying out his duties, NSPI Kong still makes an effort to further his knowledge in his field of studies.

The keen learner exemplifies the theme of continuous education during NS, which is facilitated to full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) through the NS e-PREP Scheme. This scheme facilitates NSFs’ transition from full-time National Service to further studies or into the workforce by offering a wide range of courses and modules, helping NSFs keep up with their peers.

In his own time, NSPI Kong wishes to uncover the more complex effects of trade and trade policies so that Singapore can link its financial and trading hub status to sustainable economic growth. It would a challenging goal for many, but this does not faze NSPI Kong: “It is no simple endeavour, for sure – but I don’t make my New Year resolutions easy!”

HITTING THE MARK

Besides shouldering his newly assigned duties as Company Adjutant, NSPI Kong has made his personal resolution for the new year — to complete his 2.4 km run in under nine minutes. He believes in continuously pushing his limits with a positive mindset to achieve his goals. 

Categories
In The Force

Ready player one!

LCP Amirul Haqim Bin Omar, HomeTeamNS’ top-tier e-sports competitor, on why professional gamers and athletes have more in common than you think.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: SCDF

While many of us play video games for relaxation, very few are willing to put in the time and effort to test our skills at a competition level. Meet our very own competitive e-sports player and full-time National Serviceman, LCP Amirul Haqim Bin Omar, a Multimedia Specialist with the Corporate Communications Department of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

LCP Amirul started playing video games as a hobby at the age of 20. Since then, his interest has levelled up into a  passionate pursuit. He is also now experimenting with video game streaming via social media to reach out to other e-sports enthusiasts in order to share gaming tips and strategies. 

The 23-year-old is even toying with the possibility of turning pro after his National Service. In an interview with SCDF e-publication Rescue 995, LCP Amirul talked about his passion for e-sports and how being part of the virtual community helped him build real-world relationships with fellow e-sports players.

What is e-sports?

Like tennis, badminton or other sports where players compete against one another, e-sports is competitive sport played on a video game platform. One can play or compete as an individual or as a team, depending on the type of game.

How long have you been a gamer and when did you become a competitive player?

I started competing in e-sports three years ago. Before that, I was only playing video games for fun. I started playing Rules of Survival (ROS) and when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PubgM) was finally made available on mobile phones, I switched to that game. As I constantly topped the Leadership Board in ROS and PubgM, I was spotted by an e-sports team in Singapore, and they asked me to join them. I accepted the offer and now compete in e-sports to see how far I can go.

What is your favourite game?

It has to be both ROS and PubgM. They are player-versus-player shooters, which is my favourite genre.

You had participated in an e-sports tournament in 2020. Could you tell us more about it?

It was the three-week long PubG Mobile Professional League – Malaysia-Singapore (PMPL-MYSG), which was held in Kuala Lumpur (KL) from March to April 2020. Towards the last week of our stay in KL, we were informed that Singapore was going into a lockdown due to COVID-19. Upon hearing the news, all the Singapore players packed our bags and headed home immediately. Despite the mad rush, we arrived before the Circuit Breaker period started and continued the competition virtually from Singapore.

Even with the connectivity issues that we faced while playing the game through local servers, we are proud to have made it to the top three spot in Singapore, thereby giving us a chance to participate in the next stage, which was held in Malaysia.

LCP Amirul (extreme right) and his team won third place in the PMPL-MYSG tournament.

Other than having natural talent, what are some of your tips to win an e-sports competition?

Practice makes perfect. Athletes must spend hours training hard before a competition — just like how SCDF firefighters and paramedics spend months building up their skills and endurance when they compete in the annual Singapore-Global Firefighters and Paramedic Challenge (SGFPC). One needs to have a personal training routine and constantly research how to play better. In addition, it is important to have a resilient mind to handle online criticism, especially when you are a leading player. Like anything in life, so long as you put in the hours and the effort, you will eventually become good at what you do.

We hear that there is a thriving e-sports community in SCDF!

Yes! The e-sports community in SCDF is known as the SCDF E-Sports League (SEL) and there is an SCDF e-sports team at the Sports & Recreation Guild of Home Team (SPRIGHT). Through competing, I got to know some players who are also SCDF personnel. That was how I noticed that there is a combined e-sports team known as Aventus Sovereign Gaming (AvSG), which consists of Police and SCDF officers. AvSG is, in fact, one of the top scorers in the region.

What do you like most about being part of the e-sports community?

I enjoy making friends within the community. Besides competing against our opponents, we also get to foster friendships with them through the virtual interactions. Some of us have become so close that we even share life stories and personal experiences. It is amazing how online multiplayer games like PubgM can connect players of various ages and walks of life. Such human connection, though virtual, is still important, especially when we try not to step out of our homes unnecessarily due to COVID-19 restrictions.

What are your future e-sports plans?

Moving forward, I plan to step out of my comfort zone by making it into a Malaysian e-sport organisation. Doing so will enable me to know their gaming style and expand my boundaries while perfecting my gaming skills.

Categories
In The Force

Family on the beat

Helping the community is just one of the reasons why this family serves as Citizens on Patrol volunteers.

TEXT AND PHOTOS: MHA

Ten years ago, Mr Prabodh Kumar Rai, 54, senior security officer and grassroots leader in Bishan Zone 2 RC, started volunteering for the Citizens on Patrol (COP) programme.

COP is a volunteer scheme launched in 1999 by the Singapore Police Force (SPF). Residents patrol their neighbourhoods and alert the SPF when they observe suspicious activities or persons, as well as engage the community on crime-prevention measures.

In 2016, his wife, Mdm Jasvindran Devi, and daughter, Ms Mitashah Rai, joined COP after witnessing his passion for keeping their neighbourhood safe. “We decided to get involved too, as we get to interact with the community, share our knowledge and raise awareness of crime prevention,” says Ms Rai, 19.

Initially, Ms Rai was not familiar with the COP scheme and did not know what was required of a volunteer. However, after participating in a few patrols, she felt empowered to contribute more. “It made me realise the value of being a volunteer and how I can spend my time wisely by giving back to the community. I also get to share crime prevention advisories with fellow residents,” she explains.

It was also the perfect opportunity for the trio to bond amid their hectic schedules. “Volunteering for COP gives us the opportunity to come together as a family while serving the community. It also made us better understand and appreciate my dad’s volunteer efforts over the years,” says Ms Rai, now working as a nurse in SGH Eye Centre. To juggle between COP duties and their respective work and academic responsibilities, the family members cross-check their schedules against the upcoming patrol dates and arrange their patrol duties accordingly.

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES 

The volunteering journey has not however always been a smooth one. Over the years, Mr Kumar and his family have experienced their fair share of challenging situations — and people — during their patrols around Bishan Park.

They have had to deal with parkgoers who breach safety rules such as cycling at prohibited areas, smoking and creating a public nuisance after 10.30pm. “We tackle such situations by sharing information and explaining to the parties involved,” says Ms Rai. “If they fail to understand or cooperate with us, we will then call the nearby Neighbourhood Police Centre for support.”

ENCOURAGING VOLUNTEERISM

The family shares with Frontline that they would continue with their COP commitments. They also encourage other families to come forward to give their time. “It is important to advocate volunteerism as volunteers play a key role in helping raise awareness for the cause and the organisation,” adds Mdm Devi, 55, a housewife. “In this case, for COP, we play a part in ensuring the safety and security of the community we live and work in.”

“Volunteering helps build closeness among family members and helps anyone pick up competencies in areas such as learning how to handle tricky situations calmly and honing their critical-thinking abilities”, notes Mr Kumar, who adds that “volunteering demonstrates the importance of giving back to the community as well”.

Find out more about how you can make a difference in your community.

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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
In The Force

Lessons On Leadership