A steady presence on the frontline and behind the scenes – with their vigilance and professionalism, Security Officers are vital partners of the Home Team when it comes to keeping Singapore safe and secure.
This year, three stalwart Security Officers received the Security Officer of the Year Award, in recognition of their dedication and hard work. From supporting our national efforts against COVID-19 and attending to a fire while off-duty to helping Police officers arrest suspects, these are their stories.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE ON THE FRONTLINE
Security Supervisor Thurkadevi A/P Nanda Gopal. PHOTO: AETOS
Security Supervisor Thurkadevi A/P Nanda Gopal, AETOS
Share with us your duties as a Security Supervisor.
I’m the Team Leader of the security operations team at Tan Tock Seng Hospital
. I supervise a team of Security Officers and manage any incidents that may occur at the Hospital.
What are some of the challenges you face on the job?
Tan Tock Seng Hospital is an important facility in the fight against COVID-19, together with the National Centre for Infectious Diseases
. In the early days of COVID-19, I had to be nimble and decisive in managing my team members, so that we could do our jobs well.
We followed the safety guidelines strictly and made sure our Security Officers wore Personal Protective Equipment at designated areas. I arranged for our team members to get extra sets of uniforms, for comfort and hygiene purposes. I've also taken the initiative to stay informed about COVID-19 so that I can brief my team every morning.
As Security Officers, we also have to be tactful when performing our duties. Sometimes, we’ll encounter people who are unreasonable or act out because they can’t control their emotions. This can be challenging for us because even though we may empathise with them, we have to do our job to ensure the safety and security of the premises we guard.
How would you describe your management style?
I consider myself a firm but fair supervisor who prioritises the team’s performance. I also understand the importance of teamwork because security work isn’t a one-person job. That’s why I constantly seek feedback from my team members so that I can understand their perspectives and share ideas with our management, to improve our operations.
What’s one thing about your work that you’d like members of the public to know?
Picking up the necessary skills: Security Supervisor Thurkadevi has attended various courses and programmes to learn the necessary competencies for her work. PHOTO: AETOS
We do so much more than just guard the entrances to buildings. Our responsibilities range from incident management to recognising and responding to terrorist attacks. These duties require us to undergo rigorous training to learn the necessary skills and competencies. In my case, AETOS sent me for the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System for Security
(Security WSQ). I’ve also attended courses in Supervisory Management and Customer Service, to enhance my capabilities on the frontline.
How do you feel about receiving the Security Officer of the Year Award?
From the bottom of my heart, I believe this Award is due to the effort of all my team members. It’s not just a recognition of what I’ve done, but what my whole team has achieved together.
READY TO RESPOND
Security Supervisor Mak Shi Ning. PHOTOS: Certis
Security Supervisor Mak Shi Ning, Certis
What are your duties as a Security Supervisor?
I manage a team of Security Officers at a shopping mall. Due to COVID-19, measures such as safe distancing are now in place, and more resources are needed to ensure that everyone adheres to the rules, for the safety of patrons. My fellow officers and I have also stepped up during this period by performing temperature screenings at access control points. We also provided suggestions to our client, based on our experiences and observations on the ground, to streamline processes and enable us to be more effective.
When did you first join the security industry?
I joined Certis at the age of 18 and have served with the organisation for five years, learning from senior officers who were vastly more experienced and who showed me the ropes. Joining the industry at a young age comes with challenges such as managing a team. But I’ve learnt that it’s important to communicate my intentions clearly and lead by example. This helps us to establish mutual respect and allows the team to perform more efficiently.
What are some of the interesting cases that you’ve attended to as a Security Supervisor?
Last year, I attended to a fire at the food court of the shopping mall where I was deployed. I happened to be off-duty at the time and was shopping nearby with my family when I learnt about the fire. I was worried about my colleagues, so I rushed over to assist with crowd control. Had my colleagues been in my shoes, they’d have done the same.
Another interesting incident happened in 2019 during a deployment at another shopping mall. I was conducting a routine patrol of the grounds when I came across a folder that with several personal documents inside. I took the folder back to our office for safekeeping.
The next day, a family approached the shopping mall’s information counter about the lost folder. When I returned it to them, one of the family members gave me a big hug. That was one of the most memorable experiences in my career thus far!
What helps you to deal with the challenges you face on the frontline as a Security Supervisor?
As Security Officers, we’re usually the first responders to any incident, arriving at the scene before Police officers or emergency personnel. Certis has a structured training curriculum that allows us to not only acquire professional skills for our role, but also soft skills for our personal development. Such programmes include the Security WSQ as well as courses on Customer Service, for example.
How do you feel about receiving the Security Officer of the Year Award?
Being relatively new to the security industry, I was really surprised. Getting this Award is undoubtedly due to my team's effort, and I don’t think I’d have received it without their support!
A SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Security Officer Muhammad Hisham Bin Mohamed Rashid. PHOTO: Fazlee Rosli
Security Officer Muhammad Hisham Bin Mohamed Rashid, Metropolis Security Systems
Share with us your role as a Security Officer.
I’m responsible for ensuring the security of residents at a condominium. As Security Officers, we have to be alert and ready to react swiftly and decisively, as potential threats can come from anywhere. It’s more than a job; it’s a special kind of responsibility. Ultimately, we help to protect people and property, and this isn’t something to take lightly.
Tell us about how you assisted the Police in apprehending several suspects recently.
We can’t afford to be complacent about security, especially now that additional measures are in place due to COVID-19, such as temperature screenings and the use of SafeEntry
. We ensure that strict access control is implemented, and all visitors to the condominium are diligently screened and recorded, for contact tracing purposes.
The Police were looking for several suspects and, when they reviewed our records, noted that the suspects had previously visited the condominium. The next day, we were notified by the Police that the suspects were on their way over. We kept a lookout for the suspects and, when they pulled up, we held them at the guard-post before Police officers arrived.
I take pride in carrying out my duties professionally wherever I'm deployed, as though it's my own home that I'm guarding. In recognition for my efforts, I received a commendation letter from the Police. It was really an honour to be recognised, and it drives me to do the best that I can.
Share with us your learning journey.
My supervisors believe in my abilities and have provided ample opportunities for me to upgrade my skills in the security industry. For example, I’m currently undergoing the Senior Security Officer course.
How do you feel about receiving this Award?
It feels very rewarding to receive this Award and it gives me the motivation to continue doing my best. I’m certainly looking forward to building on all the work I have done thus far.
Security Officers’ Day
Security Officers’ Day is celebrated every year on 24 July (24/7) to honour the efforts and contributions of those in the Singapore’s security industry. This year, three stalwart Security Officers received the Award, in recognition of their dedication and hard work. Congratulations to Security Supervisor Thurkadevi, Security Supervisor Shi Ning and Security Officer Hisham!
Security Industry Transformation Map (SITM)
The SITM was launched in 2018 to transform the private security industry into one that is technologically advanced and which delivers better security outcomes and jobs.