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Be A Guardian: The HTX-Files

HTX Forensic Specialist Shawn Foo shares his fulfilling journey on the Home Team Science & Technology career track.
GRAPHIC: Phylicia Poon

Be A Guardian showcases fulfilling career, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities in the Home Team.

Ever wondered what goes on in the work of a Forensic Specialist? We speak to Shawn Foo, an officer with the Home Team Science & Technology Agency (HTX) (who’s forward-deployed at the Singapore Police Force) to find out how technology helps us uncover vital evidence.

Why did you choose to join the Home Team?
I’ve always wanted to work in forensics and law enforcement because I want to contribute to the safety and security of Singapore. It gives me great satisfaction to do so as part of the Home Team. I joined the Home Team in 2015 after completing my undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and my Masters in Analytical Toxicology at King’s College London.

Tell us about what you do as a Forensic Specialist.
As Forensic Specialists, we work alongside fellow Home Team officers on the frontlines, and serve as a bridge between Investigation Officers and scientists. Our training helps us to understand what both parties require in their line of work, and to close any gaps of information that may arise. 

For example, we work with Police officers daily to support crime scene investigations and to review evidence. We share our technical expertise with Investigation Officers as well as knowledge of how science can be applied to recover and analyse evidence. 

We also understand what scientists require for laboratory tests to be effective. So an important aspect of our job involves collaborating with both parties to maximise the value of our forensic evidence. 

Shawn works directly with Police officers in his daily duties while sharing his research findings with his HTX colleagues. PHOTO: Phylicia Poon

How is technology improving your effectiveness as a Forensic Specialist? 
Technology gives us access to information in real-time and also allows us to obtain precise findings. But technology can change rapidly and the processes that work for us today may not be the best methods in the future. We have to constantly ask ourselves if we’re optimising our resources and how we can improve. 

What advice do you have for those considering a career in the Home Team? 
If you’re truly passionate about a career in the Home Team, go for it. It’s about knowing that you’re contributing to a cause larger than yourself, and which you believe in. When you truly love what you do, you feel even more motivated to do your best.

Be A Guardian of Our Home
Recruited under the Home Team Specialists Scheme, Shawn Foo holds a Degree in Chemistry from NUS and Masters in Analytical Toxicology from King’s College London. He is currently a Forensic Specialist with HTX.

PHOTO: Phylicia Poon

Keen to become a Home Team Guardian? Visit the MHA Careers webpage to find out more about Sponsorship and Scholarship opportunities.
- Be A Guardian: Building Up the Home Team
- Be A Guardian: When Values and Vocation are Aligned 
- Be A Guardian: More than Just Investigations 
- Be A Guardian: At the Forefront of Life-saving Innovation

Written by

Phylicia Poon


21 January 2020

Science and Technology
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