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Guardians of Our Home: A Police Analyst at Work

Analysing crime data and exploring new ways to support Police intelligence needs – it’s all in a day’s work for an SPF Project Development Officer.

Guardians of Our Home is a series that features civilian careers in the Home Team. Check out the MHA Merit Scholarship to learn how you can pursue a fulfilling career and jump-start your leadership journey as an Intelligence Officer.

Project Development Officer, Analytics Research and Technology Division, Police Intelligence Department, Singapore Police Force (SPF)

From analysing crime data and statistics to exploring new analytical solutions and systems to improve SPF’s workflow, you can count on Xin Lu, an SPF Project Development Officer, to give her very best.

As a Statistics student at Nanyang Technological University, Xin Lu was deeply inspired by the pride and satisfaction that her friend, an SPF Uniformed Officer, took in his vocation. This motivated Xin Lu to consider serving with the Home Team, and after she graduated in 2018, she joined SPF as an Intelligence Specialist (one of the Civilian tracks in the Home Team).

Xin Lu’s responsibilities as an Intelligence Specialist include analysing crime data and statistics as well as studying trends that impact crime, public order and security in Singapore. This multi-dimensional portfolio allows Xin Lu to pursue her twin passions for Statistics and contributing to Singapore's security. “I’m inspired to play my part,” she said with pride. 

Meeting Frontline Needs with Analytics Solutions 
Xin Lu’s portfolio also includes supporting Police operations by developing and maintaining frontline intelligence and tech systems. One project that Xin Lu is leading is the Electronic System of Information Reports (ESIR), which allows ground officers to submit reports online more easily, making the case management process smoother and more efficient. 

Let’s talk: Effective communication is crucial in addressing the operational needs of frontline officers.

To develop algorithms and design dashboards that better support frontline operations, Xin Lu meets with Police officers regularly to learn what they require. “As an Intelligence Specialist, I need to understand the needs of our frontline officers,” she shared. “It’s not about implementing overly fancy algorithms, but about addressing operational challenges and arriving at the most suitable solution.”

A Passion for Learning
According to Xin Lu, SPF’s strong learning culture has spurred her on to take courses on coding as well as visualisation and spatial tools. “I’ve been provided with multiple learning and training opportunities to develop myself,” she shared. “Upskilling is part of our team culture, and we’re always encouraged to sharpen our abilities as analysts.” 

Xin Lu is currently pursuing a Masters in Statistics at the National University of Singapore. Asked whether it has been difficult for her to balance her studies with her responsibilities at work, Xin Lu replies,” It was disorienting at first, but my supervisors have been very understanding and supportive.”

Giving her utmost: Xin Lu takes pride in applying her skills as part of a team of committed professionals.

Strength in Diversity, in a Team that Cares
For Xin Lu, one of the best things about her role as an Intelligence Specialist is that she gets to work with officers with diverse expertise and skills. This allows the team to consider analytics-related challenges from myriad perspectives. “One of my colleagues has a Bachelor's Degree in Chinese, for example,” shared Xin Lu. “What we share is a curiosity and passion for applying analytics to fulfil SPF’s mission.”

When things get tough, what keeps the officers going is their strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie. This year, Xin Lu was among the many SPF officers who supported COVID-19 operations on the ground. During this period, Xin Lu’s supervisors checked on her to ensure that she had sufficient rest, and even gifted her health supplements and hand-sanitisers, to tide her through her shifts. 

“Our supervisors are concerned about our well-being, and they make a concerted effort to ensure that we’re taken care of,” shared Xin Lu. “If you’re looking for an exciting and meaningful career, and a caring work environment, there’s no place like the Home Team.” 

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Merit Scholarship 
The MHA Merit Scholarship is awarded to outstanding individuals who are passionate about strengthening Singapore’s security and public safety. 

Recipients of the MHA Merit Scholarship may choose from a variety of exciting and rewarding Home Team careers according to their interests and aspirations. This civilian scholarship offers six career tracks: a generalist track as a Home Affairs Senior Executive and five specialist tracks in Intelligence; Psychology; Commercial Affairs; Science and Technology; and Internal Security. 

Applications are now open! Click here to learn more about the MHA Merit Scholarship.

Guardians of Our Home
- Home Affairs Senior Executive career track: An Eye on the Future
- Commercial Affairs career track: Taking a Global View of Fighting Crime
- Psychology track: Busting Myths About Being a Home Team Psychologist
- Science and Technology career track: At Work with a Crime Scene SpecialistRecovering Digital Evidence to Fight Crime
- Internal Security career track: Internal Security, from the Inside

Written by

Vivian Moh


1 December 2020

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