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Be A Guardian: Making an Impact Where It Counts
A childhood fascination with the law led ASP Timothy Yap to choose Policing as his vocation.

Be A Guardian spotlights exciting career, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities in the Home Team.

As a student, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Timothy Yap loved to read biographies of people in the legal community as well as books on crime, and even considered becoming a criminal lawyer. Having received the President’s Scholarship (2013) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) Scholarship, he’s now serving at Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC). We caught up with him as he began his evening shift.

Home Team News SPF Timothy Yap 01
PHOTO: Fatimah Mujibah

Why did you want to become a Police officer? 
I had my first taste of Policing in Secondary School when I joined the National Police Cadet Corps, after taking part in the Community Safety and Security Programme. My team devised strategies to combat bullying and vandalism among students, which I found both meaningful and intellectually stimulating. 

After Junior College, I signed on with the SPF and went on a series of frontline attachments, shadowing Police officers as they worked. These experiences convinced me that I was right to serve as a law enforcer officer, in order to have a tangible impact on people’s lives. I believe that fair and effective enforcement demonstrates that the law doesn’t only exist in books, but can be implemented on the ground.

Tell us more about your work.
As a Ground Response Force Officer at Bukit Merah East NPC, I operate in a diverse terrain, overseeing residential estates in Tanjong Pagar and commercial spaces in Chinatown to key public institutions like the State Courts. 

We attend to a range of incidents as first responders to 999 calls. Crime prevention and deterrence are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Policing; if a crime has already been committed, we’ll secure the scene and conduct preliminary investigations. 

Our duties also extend beyond crime per se. Often, we’re called in to mediate and resolve community conflicts and issues. In one particular case, we were deployed to search for a missing teenage boy late at night, after his grandmother reported that he hadn’t returned from school. After many hours of searching, the boy was found at his friend’s residence. It turned out to be a case of teenage rebellion on his part, though we were relieved he wasn’t the victim of any crime.

Home Team News SPF Timothy Yap 02
PHOTOS: Fatimah Mujibah

What are the three qualities that GRF officers must have?
First of all, integrity. GRF officers are entrusted with a significant amount of legal authority to manage a situation, including search and arrest. This is a responsibility that calls for balanced decision-making and the moral courage to stand firmly by what we believe to be the right course of action. 

Second, responsibility. People in the community naturally look to Police officers to take charge and exercise leadership in difficult situations. Thus, we must make tough decisions under pressure, and take responsibility for them. 

Thirdly, people-centredness. Policing fundamentally concerns people’s lives and their well-being. As officers, we serve the law, and are often the closest to those affected by crime. So we have a responsibility to apply the law effectively, yet humanely. 

What advice do you have for those considering a career in the Home Team? 
Seize every opportunity to go on ground attachments. There’s no better way of finding out whether this vocation is right for you than by getting a feel of frontline Policing.



Be A Guardian
Turning the spotlight on exciting career, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities in the Home Team: 
Be A Guardian: Serving with Heart (SPF)
Be A Guardian: A Calling to Serve (SPS) 
Be A Guardian: In the Heart of the Action (SCDF)
Be A Guardian: An Eye for Investigations (CNB)
Be A Guardian: One Job, Many Facets (CNB)
Be A Guardian: Making an Impact Where It Counts (SPF)
Be A Guardian: Pushing Herself to Her Limit (SPF)
Be A Guardian: Having a Heart for Those in Need (SCDF)
Be A Guardian: Guiding Inmates onto the Right Path (SPS)
Be A Guardian: Ever Vigilant (ICA)
Be A Guardian: Turning Helplessness to Hope (SPF)
Be A Guardian: Engineering a Fresh Start (MHA)
Be A Guardian: One with the Community (SPF)
Be A Guardian: Empowering Inmates on Their Rehabilitation Journey (SPS)

A Career in the Home Team
If you’re keen to learn more about becoming a Home Team Guardian, visit the MHA website.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Fatimah Mujibah
  2. 19 October 2018
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