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Realising his dream of joining the Force through volunteering

As part of the Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteer scheme, Mr Shamshul Haniz Selamat plays a vital role in championing community safety.

As part of the Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteer scheme, Mr Shamshul Haniz Selamat plays a vital role in championing community safety.


After an injury derailed his aspirations of joining the Singapore Police Force, Mr Shamshul Haniz Selamat found a new avenue to serve his community – by volunteering with the Citizens on Patrol (COP) scheme.

His journey is an example of how determination and a passion for service can shape one’s path in life. “Joining COP was as close as I could get to being part of the Force,” shares the 35-year-old portering senior supervisor, who had first learnt about COP while he was on reservist. “It caught my interest by offering me an alternative way to contribute to crime prevention and public education.”


As a volunteer with the Home Team (Punggol NPC), Mr Shamshul takes to the streets for two-hour patrols around the neighbourhood once a month. However, his responsibilities extend beyond routine surveillance. His role is pivotal in enhancing the well-being of his community through awareness and engagement. “It’s about ensuring safety and educating the public about rising crimes as well as crime prevention measures,” he explains.

A father of three, Mr Shamshul derives a sense of accomplishment from contributing to a safer environment as well as fostering a sense of security and reassurance among the residents in his community.


A key aspect of Mr Shamshul’s responsibilities as a volunteer is to engage with and educate the community.

Mr Shamshul’s experience in COP is filled with memorable encounters, such as inspiring a fellow resident who expressed interest in joining the patrol team.

He recalls one particularly meaningful interaction during a home visit in his first year with COP. “A resident was happy to see us doing our rounds and gathered every member of her household to listen to what we had to share. Moments later, she was spreading the word through WhatsApp, urging her relatives and friends to pass on the information to protect their loved ones before they fell victim.”

Such interactions not only help to strengthen community bonds, but also highlight the significance of the COP scheme. “The community is appreciative of our presence, and is keen to listen and very attentive,” says Mr Shamshul, who adds that he has observed fewer complaints and incidents within the communities he patrols.


Mr Shamshul believes in the collective impact of volunteerism to build a stronger community.

Mr Shamshul believes his role significantly contributes to Singapore’s safety by educating the public about current crimes and scams. Through his work with COP, he relays essential information from the Neighbourhood Police Centre’s Officer-in-Charge to his personal and community networks.

He shares a key insight from his experiences: “Working with COP has taught me the importance of adapting our means of communication to suit different preferences. Some people respond better to personal interactions and visual aids, rather than solely on oral communication.”

During his patrols, Mr Shamshul always prioritises a friendly approach when engaging with the public and introducing his team and COP’s purpose – an effort that has proven effective in rapidly disseminating important updates within the community.

In this way, he plays a key role in crisis management and information sharing, reinforcing the tenets of Total Defence with every interaction.


Mr Shamshul encourages those who have been contemplating volunteering with the Home Team to “do it with an open heart and mind”. Emphasising the broader impact of such volunteer work, he adds: “Our efforts help in raising awareness, which is integral to Total Defence.”

A testament to how a positive attitude can lead to meaningful contributions within the community, Mr Shamshul’s story also serves as a reminder of how every individual’s effort counts towards the collective strength and resilience of Singapore.

To get to know him better, we had Mr Shamshul play a game of “Would You Rather?”.

Here are his answers and the reasons why:

1. Power of flight – “To respond quickly in urgent situations.”

2. ⁠Only watch comedy films – “After a long day’s work, some laughter is what you need.”

3. ⁠Time travel 100 years backwards – “To understand lessons of the past and look at what could have been done better”.

Join the Home Team Volunteer Network and make a difference in your community today! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about our 11 different volunteer schemes and how you can contribute.


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15th March 2024
12:21 PM

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