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Once Volunteers, Now Full-time Police Officers

Three VSC officers share why they turned their passion for Policing into fulfilling careers.
PHOTOS: Fatris Bin Jasmin

During the working week, she taught at a Secondary School. Preparing Chemistry lessons, guiding students and marking homework, her trusty red pens were never far from her reach. 

On weekends, she switched to a Police uniform and swapped her red pens for a baton and revolver. Patrolling the neighbourhood, she received regular updates on her personal radio set that despatched her to help residents in need. 

Known to her students as Ms Tan, Inspector (INSP) Jemimah Tan had two fulfilling roles – a teacher and a Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC) officer with the Singapore Police Force (SPF). 

VSC officers share a passion for keeping Singapore safe and secure. Serving alongside their Home Team counterparts, they are vested with the powers of a Police officer.

In 2018, INSP Jemimah was among 18 VSC officers who made the decision to become full-time Police officers. We spoke to her and two other former VSC officers about their leap to becoming a full-time officer. 

Supportive fellow officers and a desire to serve – these factors convinced INSP Jemimah to join the SPF. PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

Making an Impact
INSP Jemimah’s Policing journey started when she visited the Home Team Career Fair during her undergraduate days at Nanyang Technological University. At the Fair, she met VSC officers who shared with her what the job entailed. 

“Policing had never crossed my mind, but the officers explained how VSC officers came from all walks of life,” confided INSP Jemimah. “This convinced me to give it a shot.”

After completing the mandatory six-month training programme, INSP Jemimah was posted to Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) as a Ground Response Force (GRF) officer. 

After graduating, INSP Jemimah taught Chemistry in a Secondary School while fulfilling her VSC responsibilities on weekends. Often, after coaching her students on Fridays, she’d report for her GRF night duties. “It was a juggling act sometimes,” she recalled, “but I persevered with both roles because they were very meaningful to me.” 

INSP Jemimah credits the full-time officers at Jurong East NPC with helping her to decide on Policing as her vocation. During patrols, they’d offer her encouragement and advice. Having joined the SPF in 2018, she’ll soon complete her Senior Officers Course at the Home Team Academy. “Making a mid-career transition is always challenging,” says INSP Jemimah. “But Policing lets me make a direct and positive impact on people’s lives, and that makes it all worthwhile.”

As an IO, ASP Matthew processes crime scenes, gathers evidence and conducts interviews in order to crack cases. PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

Discovering His Passion for Policing
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Matthew Ng joined the VSC while he was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. 

He did so for one simple reason – he wanted to continue helping the community. Having served as a GRF officer with Bukit Timah NPC during his National Service (NS) days, he was very familiar with the challenges and rewards of the job. 

“Being able to help residents in need made my NS days very meaningful for me,” recalled ASP Matthew. “That’s why I decided to join the VSC when I was an undergraduate.”

PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

ASP Matthew found his VSC experience a thoroughly enjoyable and fulfilling complement to his undergraduate years. Though he immersed himself in various Engineering internships, he came to realise that his true passion lay in Policing. 

After graduating in 2017, ASP Matthew applied to be a Police officer and was accepted. He’s now an Investigation Officer (IO) with Central Police Division. As an IO, he processes crime scenes, gathers evidence and conducts interviews in order to crack cases. 

ASP Matthew couldn’t be more glad to make the transition from VSC to his current role. “That’s because my VSC duties never felt like work to me, because I enjoyed them so much,” he explained. 

ASP Amin believes that full-time officers, VSC officers and NSmen all have a part to play in keeping Singapore safe and secure. PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

All with a Part to Play
Since his NS days as a GRF officer with Bukit Merah West NPC, ASP Amin S/O Majid had known that he wanted to be a part of the SPF. 

While pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Nanyang Technical University, he decided to join the VSC in order to sharpen his knowledge of Policing. “Believe it or not, going on patrol was a nice break from crunching formulas in Thermophysics,” he recalled with a chuckle. “And, given the dynamic nature of Policing duties, no two shifts were alike, so every patrol was an adventure.”

PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

It was the supportive supervisors and fellow officers he met that convinced ASP Amin to pursue Policing as a career. Having served with the SPF for 12 years, he’s now a Senior Investigation Officer with the Criminal Investigation Department, and eager to apply the lessons he has learnt along the way. 

“I remember how my supervisors treated us VSC officers as equal partners,” recalled ASP Amin. “After I became a supervisor myself, I’ve tried to do this also. That’s because we all have a part to play in fighting crime, whether we’re full-time officers, VSC officers or NSmen.”

Volunteering as a Police Officer: Want to learn more about the VSC? Check out this page. To enquire about joining the VSC, email: SPF_VSC_HQ_Recruitment@spf.gov.sg.

Home Team Careers: Check out this page to learn more about a career in the Home Team.

Written by

Fatris Bin Jasmin


1 July 2019

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