On Assignment
Together as One: Knowing the Heartbeat of the Community
Meet ASP Kiran Devi, a veteran officer who’s equally at home chatting with residents and providing leadership at the Police Operations Command Centre.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

“There has to be more to this case than meets the eye…” – that was what Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kiran Devi thought when she first attended to the complaints about a woman resident who was involved in a dispute with her neighbours. 

This was in 2014, and officers from Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) were constantly called down by neighbours to attend to the dispute. As the Officer-in-Charge of Jurong East NPC’s Community Policing Unit (CPU), ASP Kiran read the complaints and was determined to address their root cause, in order to help the families involved. 

Listening with Heart
A senior para-counsellor with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), ASP Kiran quickly picked up signs that suggested the resident might require medical attention. But her family was reluctant to seek help for her.

“There are different types of social and medical support available within the community to residents, yet they may not be aware of them,” explained ASP Kiran. “I wanted to provide this resident and her family with such assistance.”

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Let’s talk: On the ground to share the anti-crime message in Jurong East (photo taken in 2018). PHOTO: SPF

Together with her team, ASP Kiran kept reaching out to the family and worked closely with multiple public agencies to ensure that they received the support they needed. Her perseverance finally paid off; the resident managed to receive medical help and, over time, her family became more forthcoming in engaging with the officers. 

So how did ASP Kiran know that this wasn’t the usual case of a dispute between neighbours? 

“It comes from my professional experience as a para-counsellor, as well as the courses and seminars that I’ve organised for my fellow para-counsellors over the years,” she explained. “It takes patience and empathy to understand what someone is trying to communicate, and these come with maturity and experience.”
 
Forging Relationships and Trust
Established in 2012 as part of SPF’s Community Policing System, CPUs serve to engage the community and build trust between residents and officers. When ASP Kiran was appointed Officer-in-Charge of Jurong East NPC’s CPU in 2013, she made it her goal to know at least one representative from every public agency and community partner.
“To cultivate a healthy garden, you need to tend to all your plants, and provide constant watering and care,” she explained. “That’s why, whenever an issue arose, I’d personally visit all the stakeholders and partners involved. They saw that I was sincere in wanting to speak to them, and that’s how our relationship and trust were forged.”

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A matter of trust: Maintaining ties with residents, community partners and stakeholders (photo taken in 2019). PHOTO: SPF

Another priority for ASP Kiran was to ensure that her CPU officers serve as a bridge between SPF and residents. Being attentive to the community helped the team understand why residents were hesitant to access SPF’s range of e-services, which allow them to lodge reports online, and so on. Some residents didn't feel comfortable doing so as they were under the impression that electronic reports wouldn't receive as much attention as reports that were lodged physically. 
 
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Getting social: Jurong East NPC leverages on a range of social media and messaging platforms to keep residents informed and engaged. SCREENSHOTS: SPF

Through regular engagement sessions, ASP Kiran and her team helped residents understand that the Police attends to all reports equally. They also reached out to residents through social media. “That’s what Community Policing is about,” she explained. “Knowing the heartbeat of the community, and responding to it.” 

Continuing to Lead with Pride
In August 2019, ASP Kiran took on a new role as Officer-in-Charge of the Watch Team at the Police Operations Command Centre. In this dynamic, 24/7 working environment, her calm disposition and experience as a para-counsellor allows her to guide her officers in order to best assist members of the public.
 
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Advice and support: As a senior para-counsellor, ASP Kiran lends a listening ear to fellow officers. PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

“At the Police Operations Command Centre, our officers often take calls from people who may be in distress,” she explained. “It’s important for us to calm the caller, get the necessary information, deploy the appropriate resources on the ground and assure the caller that assistance is on its way.”

Having been with SPF for 27 years, ASP Kiran is grateful for the many opportunities she has had to learn, grow and serve. “SPF has been my teacher all these years,” she said. “Being able to serve the community, support my fellow officers as a para-counsellor and to guide different teams – that’s what spurs me on to give my best.”


Public Sector Transformation Awards 2020
The Public Sector Transformation Awards recognise public officers and agencies for excellence in their work and organisational practices. This year’s Award Reception was held virtually on 21 October, and 80 recipients in various categories were recognised for their contributions and service. 

ASP Kiran is one of the recipients of the Exemplary Service Excellence Award at this year’s Public Sector Transformation Awards. Congratulations to her and our other Award recipients from the Home Team!
Star Partner Award (Singapore Police Force): SHINE Children and Youth Services
Citizen Engagement Excellence Award: Dadah Itu Haram Campaign, Central Narcotics Bureau
• Exemplary SkillsFuture @ Public Service Award: SWO1 Mohammad Iskandar Bin Mohamed Ibrahim, Singapore Civil Defence Force
Exemplary Innovator Award: Anti-Scam Centre, Singapore Police Force
Exemplary Service Excellence Award: CPT Jenks Tan, Singapore Civil Defence Force
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Ashley Tuen
  2. 21 October 2020
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