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Our Year in Review - 2021 (Part 2)

It’s been another busy and fulfilling year for our Home Team Guardians. Here are some of the Home Team’s highlights in 2021!
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In commemoration of the Police Bicentennial in 2020, all Police officers – regulars, Full-time National Servicemen, Operationally Ready National Servicemen and Volunteer Special Constabulary – who were in service between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020 will be awarded the Singapore Police Bicentennial 2020 Medal. Medallions will be given to civilian officers who were in service in 2020, as well as former Police officers who’d retired or completed their National Service liabilities before 1 January 2020, and to the families of SPF officers who died in the line of duty.

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Addressing Parliament on 3 August, Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam thanked SPF for its contributions and paid tribute to Police officers who’d given their lives to keep Singapore safe. In attendance at Parliament on this special occasion were family members of officers who’d died in the line of duty, retired officers, SPF representatives and Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck. Read MIN K Shanmugam’s speech on commemorating 200 years of SPF

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SCDF is leveraging technology to transform how lives and properties are protected. Here are some of the innovations that SCDF announced in 2021.

The First Smart Fire Station
Punggol Fire Station, which is operational from 30 December, is SCDF’s first smart fire station. Officers will be “hooked up” to the Station through a smart-watch, which they can use to register attendance, calculate meal allowances and access certain locations without a key or card. Officers in the Station will also be activated for incidents via the smart-watch.

7th Generation Ambulance and New Command Vehicles
SCDF’s 7th-gen ambulance has an in-built system that sprays a mist of disinfectant and allows paramedics to decontaminate the vehicle within 20 minutes. It also comes with a modular storage system that allows medical equipment to be rearranged or carried around easily. To assist the ambulance driver, there are new safety features such as a 360-degree vehicle camera and parking assistance. 

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SCDF’s new Forward Command Vehicle features Individual workstations and forward-facing seats designed to reduce motion sickness. It also has ample storage compartments and an alternate entry point at the back of the vehicle to facilitate discussions, as well as a video wall to allow for more effective sensemaking at an incident site.

SCDF’s Command Vehicle has also received an upgrade. It features an X-shaped conference table and tech resources that allow Joint Planning Staff to review and plan for operations on the ground.

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Unmanned Firefighting Machine
About 50 more robots will be added to support SCDF in its frontline operations over the next two years. This will allow for the number of firefighters deployed at high-risk areas to be halved, enabling them to focus on other critical aspects of operations. The use of such technologies is part of SCDF’s 10-year roadmap to fully integrate robotics technology into its operations. The goal? A seamless ecosystem of lifesaving robots that can interact with one another and which are fully autonomous, self-diagnosing and remotely operable.

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Operational Medical Networks Informatics Integrator (OMNII)
In August, SCDF launched OMNII, a collaborative platform that links the SCDF Operations Centre, SCDF EMS and hospital emergency departments, allowing these stakeholders to view, share and document relevant patient data seamlessly to improve patient care management. SCDF Paramedics can view the medical history of the patient on a mobile device before receiving the patient (if the NRIC is provided at the time of the 995 call). In the ambulance, the patient’s vital signs can be sent to the hospital to prep the emergency department before arrival, saving invaluable time.

In May, SCDF signed an MOU with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to offer a 12-month Diploma (Conversion) in Paramedic Science and 1,200 hours of On-The-Job Training Programme to boost the professional standards of Paramedics.

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The Diploma gives participants the opportunity to put into action their classroom learning under the supervision of Paramedic practitioners from SCDF and SAF. This allows participants to gain essential hands-on experience in ambulance operations under the supervision of senior Paramedics. The On-The-Job Training Programme also includes tactical training conducted by SAF on paramedic care during conflicts and major civil emergency scenarios.

On 26 July 2021, HTA held a virtual change of command ceremony with Mr Anwar Abdullah appointed as Chief Executive of HTA, taking over from Mr Clarence Yeo. Under Mr Yeo’s leadership, HTA developed key Home Team Training and Learning initiatives such as the Home Team Civilian Training School to provide holistic and structured development for civilian officers. Mr Yeo was also instrumental in rolling out the Home Team Training Curriculum Masterplan to strengthen curriculum design and development capabilities across the Home Team. During Mr Yeo’s service, HTA also received awards and accolades in recognition of its organisational excellence, future-readiness and global leadership. 

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Mr Anwar Abdullah, was formerly SCDF Deputy Commissioner (Operations & Resilience) and served with the Force for 27 years. As Chief Executive of HTA, he will steer HTA’s transformation, oversee the training and development of Home Team officers and strive towards excellence in training for the Home Team.

Inaugural Leaders in Enforcement Management Programme
Jointly curated by HTA and the Civil Service College, the inaugural Leaders in Enforcement Management Programme was launched in February and saw 30 participants from 22 public agencies taking part. The nine-day programme allowed leaders from across the Public Service to gain a deeper understanding of the current enforcement landscape and how they can effectively manage their enforcement and regulatory functions.

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Participants also visited HTA’s Home Team Simulation Centre, ICA’s Air Cargo Command and HTX to get a glimpse into how the Home Team leverages technology to enable effective training and operations. The second run of the Programme was held in November and brought together 16 participants from 14 public agencies. 

Home Team Simulation System Satellite Centre at Tanglin Police Division
Building on the success of the Home Team Simulation System (HTS2), HTA partnered SPF and HTX to launch the first HTS2 Satellite Centre at Tanglin Police Division in April. The Satellite Centre enables SPF officers to conduct independent, smaller-scale simulation exercises as well as take part in joint exercises with other Home Team units and agencies at HTA’s Home Team Simulation Centre.

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PHOTO: Home Team News

The Satellite Centre was set up to in response to the positive feedback from Home Team officers who’ve used HTS2. HTA will review operations at the Satellite Centre with the aim of developing similar facilities with other Home Team Departments to further support training on the frontline and island-wide joint command post exercises.

Following its inaugural virtual Workplan Seminar held via Workplace Live in 2020, CRA took to another virtual platform, Zoom, for this year’s Workplan Seminar on 22 April. 

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PHOTOS: Home Team News

In their addresses to staff, CRA Chairman Mr Tan Tee How and CRA Chief Executive Mr Teo Chun Ching expressed their appreciation for the officers’ tireless contributions in 2020, as well as their efforts in implementing CRA’s transformation plans for FY2021. In particular, Mr Teo noted the need for CRA to reinforce its risk management processes, build a future-ready workforce and create a smart Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), which will be tasked to regulate Singapore’s gambling landscape. 

Besides updating officers on CRA’s transformation priorities, the Workplan Seminar also involved the co-creation of GRA’s new corporate identity. One of the highlights of the Seminar was discussions with officers on GRA’s new Mission, Vision, Values and corporate logo. The sessions drew on the collective wisdom of officers and provided them with a sense of ownership in driving CRA’s transformation to GRA.

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This year, the Home Team Volunteer Network (HTVN) celebrated its 10th anniversary on 28 October with MIN K Shanmugam as the Guest of Honour and HTVN Co-Chairmen MOS Desmond Tan and Assoc Prof Ho Peng Kee in attendance. Over 700 volunteers came together to celebrate the spirit of volunteering! 

At the event, MIN K Shanmugam launched the inaugural Outstanding Volunteer Award to recognise volunteers who have taken up leadership roles and demonstrated strong commitment and active participation. Four volunteers clinched the Outstanding Volunteer Award while 16 volunteers received the Commendation Award for their exemplary service.

Staying in Touch with Our Volunteers
This year, in partnership with various Home Team Departments and policy units in MHQ, HTVN also organised six HTVN Webinars and Dialogue Sessions to engage volunteers by sharing the work of our Home Team Departments and updating them on Home-Team-related issues. 

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It has been a fruitful year in spite of the challenges posed by COVID-19.  We thank our volunteers for their dedication and continued support for the Home Team!

Innovation is par for the course at HTX! Here are three cool tools that the tech whizzes at HTX rolled out this year. 

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E-Commerce Surveillance Tool
COVID-19 has brought about an increase in the number of transactions on e-commerce platforms. But how can we be sure that what we’ve bought online is legitimate, or safe? Enter the E-Commerce Surveillance Tool. Designed by teams from HTX’s Data Science & AI and Q Team Centres of Expertise, this AI bot enables enforcement officers to sift through online listings of contraband using Robotic Process Automation and AI technology.

Online Cybersquat Hunter
Malicious websites that pose the real deal trick people into divulging personal information such as passwords, credit card data and bank account details. To weed out such fake websites, HTX’s Q Team Centre of Expertise created the Online Cybersquat Hunter. Using AI with image and text analytics, this tool can crawl through up to 500,000 websites daily on the public domain to identify dodgy websites.

There’s something in the air tonight… SCDF periodically receives calls from the public alerting them to the smell of unknown substances. However, such odours may have dissipated before SCDF personnel arrive on the scene, and much time and resources may be required to map affected areas and conduct the necessary tracing. 

eNose is an intelligent chemical sensor developed by HTX’s CBRNE Centre of Expertise to detect anomalies present in the air. The sensor mimics the human nose by sniffing out strange scents, but is also capable of detecting odourless gases that the human olfactory system can’t pick up.

Throughout the year, Home Team News brings you a selection of reports about how Home Team officers keep Singapore safe and secure. But there are countless more instances – every day, week and month – of our Guardians giving their best, and more. 

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Having played a major role last year to support Singapore’s COVID-19 efforts, officers involved in frontline operations began 2021 by taking part in the Home-Team-wide vaccination exercise. As the year drew to a close, our frontliners took their booster dose to ensure that they can continue to stay safe and carry out their duties effectively. 

Your efforts are truly appreciated. Thank you!

Read Part 1 of Our Year in Review

Written by

Elaine Lee and Lynn Ng


10 January 2022

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