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Industry Spotlight: Cool, Calm and Collected (Part 1)

Two winners of this year's Security Officers' Day Awards share with us their stories of maintaining order and peace at the frontline, day in and day out.
SOD Sures 01
Photos: Joash Tan

Security officers are key partners of the Home Team, playing an essential role in ensuring our safety at premises they are deployed at. 

To recognise their commitment, Security Officers’ Day Awards are presented annually by the Security Association Singapore (SAS) in conjunction with Security Officers’ Day on 24 July. This year, the SAS President’s Medal for Professionalism is given out for the first time to honour officers who displayed professionalism even in the face of adversity. We speak to Security Officer (SO) Sures Perumal, one of the three winners, on his dedication to his job.

“I just do my job, and that makes me happy,” said SO Sures Perumal, Security Officer from TwinRock Global and recipient of the inaugural Medal of Professionalism.

The mild-mannered officer has been working night shifts as a security officer for the past 10 years.

SO Sures has been steadfast in discharging his duties at Tampines Giant Hypermart, where he has been deployed for about two years.

SOD Sures 02
SO Sures securing the premises.

Ever ready to learn more, he has taken additional courses and embraced on-the-job training to develop himself further. Though challenging at times, he is glad to have persevered. 

SO Sures admitted that before joining the security industry, he knew almost nothing about technology. 

Over the years on the job, he was introduced to innovative solutions as part of the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) efforts to transform the industry’s operating models. 

“When I first became a security officer, it was all very manual work. But now, we have advanced CCTV for monitoring, clocking for patrolling, and also an electronic system for reporting incidents. These help us respond faster when we are alerted to security incidents.”

SOD Sures 03

He also shared about the upskilling opportunities available to officers for their career advancement. “After learning about the current trends of terrorism and how to identify threats at the Recognise Terrorist Threat (RTT) course, I was interested to study more so I attended a bomb identification course,” said SO Sures earnestly. (The RTT course will be compulsory for all security officers from July 2023.)

“Compared to my previous deployment where there was not much interaction with members of the public, my current deployment has allowed me to pick up public and conflict management skills, to resolve disputes and de-escalate tense situations.”

SOD Sures 04
SO Sures patrolling the supermarket.

These skills have served him well, helping him ride out encounters with bad-mannered members of the public, including a recent incident where a man turned violent after SO Sures politely requested that he mask up in accordance with safe management measures.

Keeping protocols at the forefront of his mind even then, SO Sures remained unfazed and reported the incident to his supervisor.

SO Sures was a picture of calm as he reflected on the incident: “After working as a security officer for 10 years, this is the first time something like this has happened to me. A member of the public who witnessed the incident alerted the Police quickly while I was attempting to de-escalate the situation.”

The public-facing nature of the work of security officers like SO Sures raises the risk of confrontation with people when they carry out their duties. Today, security officers are provided with enhanced protection against harassment and abuse under the recently operationalised amendments to the Private Security Industry Act, which took effect on 1 May 2022.

The incident made him realise that the public has in general become more respectful towards security officers compared to a decade ago.

“People are more understanding of our role, and they see that we are here to help ensure their safety,” said SO Sures.

SO Sures receiving his Medal of Professionalism from Zaqy Mohamed, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Manpower. PHOTO: SAS

Being recognised with a Medal for Professionalism has not changed SO Sures’ outlook on his career path. He maintained that he felt fulfilled in his profession and committed to his mission: “I make sure everyone is safe and sound and it makes me happy to see families and people going about their activities safely.”

Read also: Industry Spotlight: Essential Vigilant and Worthy of Our Respect

Security Officers’ Day Awards
An initiative by the Security Association Singapore (SAS), Security Officers’ Day Awards is presented annually to honour the efforts and contributions of those in the industry, in conjunction with Security Officers’ Day which falls on 24 July. This year, two officers received the Security Officer of the Year award and three officers received the SAS President’s Medal for Professionalism.

Security Industry Transformation Map 
The Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) is a collaborative effort with industry associations, companies, unions, service buyers, security agencies and Government agencies led by the Ministry of Home Affairs to transform the industry to deliver better security outcomes. Click here to read more.

Written by

Phoebe Leow


13 September 2022

Transforming the Security Industry
Security Industry
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