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At Home with the Home Team (Part 1)
Our very own Joseph Chan, a Home Affairs Senior Executive with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), shares his experience at the inaugural Home Team Foundation Course (HTFC) in January.

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Fostering a “One Home Team” mindset: The inaugural run of the HTFC saw 40 civilian and uniformed officers from across the Home Team taking part, including Joseph (last row, extreme right). PHOTO: Home Team Academy
 
All Together Now
I arrived at the Home Team Academy (HTA) wearing the course polo T-shirt and dark blue trousers, looking – in my opinion – very much like a member of the Community Policing Unit of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), and not knowing what to expect. My initial interactions with my course-mates gave me the impression that they felt likewise, with the exception of one person who turned up with a trolley bag, ready for anything! :)

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The HTFC is a two-week residential course for new-entrant Senior Officers from the Home Team. PHOTO: Home Team Academy

Home Away from Home
Having the HTA as our base of residence was great. It reminded me of my National Service (NS) days of being in a structured environment where everyone wears the same attire, sleeps in bunks and attends morning physical training before breakfast. Seeing full-time Police NS trainees marching from place to place and learning together was also a constant reminder of the contributions made by our Home Team National Servicemen.

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Equipped with thermal sensors, gas monitors and a special ventilation system, the CDA’s Furnace provides a safe and realistic training environment for our firefighters. PHOTO: Home Team Academy
 
All About the Home Team
The course organisers spared no effort in exposing us to the work of our Home Team Departments (HTDs). Between hitting the books and attending classes, we also visited different HTDs and experienced first-hand how they keep Singapore safe and secure. These visits were often interactive and participatory, and helped us appreciate the work of our HTDs even more. In the photo above, my course-mates and I are getting a taste of the Furnace, which is used to train firefighters at the Civil Defence Academy (CDA).

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Donning bunker gear and getting a taste of the rigours of firefighting during our CDA visit. PHOTO: Home Team Academy
 
The visits left a deep impression on me. At the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), we learnt about the agency’s work in preventive drug education. Seeing the anti-drug ribbon pin at CNB’s Heritage Gallery was very nostalgic – I still have mine from primary school somewhere! We also learnt about anti-drug enforcement and saw CNB officers put on an impressive forced-entry demonstration, a measure that may be required during drug raids.

A tour of Tuas Checkpoint offered another excellent example of the Home Team concept, with officers from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority working alongside colleagues from the MHA, CNB, SPF and the Singapore Civil Defence Force to secure our borders.

Some visits were especially memorable for us, but not likely repeatable. This included a visit to the Singapore Prison Service’s Changi Prison Complex, where we had a tour of facilities such as the inmates’ cells and yard area, and briefly observed a cooking class for inmates that was facilitated by the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises.

We also dropped by the office of the Casino Regulatory Authority and learnt how it regulates Singapore’s casinos with the big-picture objective of preventing casino-associated ills from taking root.

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Learning the finer points of responding to an explosives incident. PHOTO: Home Team Academy
 
Back to the Classroom
The HTD visits were accompanied by lectures that gave us an overview of the Home Team, its history, evolution and joint operations. We also attended lessons to help us understand the terror threat to Singapore and a session on post-blast incident management, pictured above.

Enjoyed my sharing so far? Check out Part 2 to see what else my course-mates and I got up to.

About Joseph
Joseph is a 25-year-old Communications graduate who recently joined MHA as a Media Relations Executive. In his free time, he likes to hang out with family and friends; play and watch different sports; listen to and make music; and eat very large portions.

To learn about a career with the Home Team, visit the MHA website.

 

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Joseph Chan
  2. 23 February 2018
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