During an island-wide enforcement operation in July 2021, officers of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) arrested 104 suspected drug offenders and seized various types of drugs estimated to be worth more than $198,000. While these suspects will be investigated and, if convicted, serve sentences for their crimes, their actions also affect their loved ones, such as their families and children.
CNB officer “Ivan” (not his real name) joined CNB in 2012 because of his desire to fight the scourge of drugs. He recalls the scene he witnessed when his team entered the flat of a female suspect during the enforcement operation earlier this month…
On the Scene
The suspect and her 10-month-old baby girl were in the unit. As my colleagues quickly secured the suspect, I saw the baby crying on the floor and fiddling with a toolbox filled with screws and nails.
As the father of two daughters, my immediate reaction was to pick the baby up and check her mouth for any foreign objects. I carried her, making sure to hold her firmly so that she’d feel secure.
When the baby started crying again, I instinctively knew that she needed to drink milk. I prepared a serving of milk by pouring warm water into a bottle filled with formula. When I fed the baby with the bottle, she started drinking immediately and calmed down.
Toys at My Desk
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time that my fellow officers and I have come across drug offenders who had young children in their residence.
Witnessing children growing up in such a dangerous environment really breaks my heart. Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, drug-free environment, and I don’t want any child to be exposed to such dangers. It truly saddens me that such innocent victims have to bear the brunt of the harm that drugs cause.
Thankfully, the baby has now been placed in the safe custody of her next-of-kin. However, there have been times when we haven’t been able to immediately identify a suitable custodian for such children. In such instances, we’ll bring them back to our office temporarily while arrangements are made for their safe custody. That’s one reason I always keep some toys at my desk.
Why I Serve
I was inspired to become an officer by my grandfather. When he passed away in 1993, he left me two medals. I learnt from my mother that he’d earned these when he volunteered to serve in the Special Constabulary in the mid-1960s, during the Konfrontasi period.
I first applied to become a Police officer as I felt a similar sense of purpose to protect those around me. Upon seeing first-hand the harm caused by drugs during my time as an officer, I made the decision to join the fight against the scourge of drugs, so that our children can have a safer Singapore to grow up in.
After about three years in SPF, I joined CNB in 2012. Now I’m motivated to give my best as an Enforcement officer at CNB’s Enforcement "E" Division. My core duties are to process intelligence on suspected drug activities and conduct anti-drug operations with my team members. Our work never stops, even in the midst of COVID-19.
I also feel very strongly about the need to guide and nurture young children, and to tell them about the harm that drugs cause, for our children have limitless potential. That’s why my fellow officers and I strive to be positive role models, in all we do.