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Be A Guardian: One with the Community
Assistant Superintendent Joshua Jesudason explains how he came to embrace the Singapore Police Force as his vocation.

The Be A Guardian series turns the spotlight on exciting career, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities in the Home Team.

“In the heart of things” – That’s how Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Joshua Jesudason, 24, describes his work as a Ground Response Force Officer at Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC). As a President’s Scholar (2013) and recipient of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) Overseas Scholarship, ASP Jesudason completed his studies at Oxford University and the London School of Economics before returning to serve as an SPF officer. We caught up with him as he began his morning shift. 

ASP Joshua SPF 01B
PHOTO: Home Team News

Did you always want to be a Police officer?
Poll any group of kids about what they’d like to be when they grow up, and you’d be regaled with answers like “fireman”, “pilot” and inevitably, “policeman.” Though becoming a Police officer wasn’t my childhood dream, it became a vocation that I grew into – gradually but surely.

Tell us about your childhood. 
My parents went to Papua New Guinea when I was very young, to do humanitarian work. So I spent most of my childhood in a remote mountain village in Milne Bay Province. Where we lived, the nearest “town” was either a 32-seater plane ride away, or a two-week trek across treacherous terrain. 

We came home to Singapore in 2003. After I completed my A-levels in 2012, I found myself at a crossroads – deciding between a path that would allow me to do humanitarian work, as my parents had done, or embarking on a career in the Public Service. 

That’s when one of my teachers introduced me to the scholarships offered by the Ministry of Home Affairs. She thought this would be a good fit for me. Before I knew it, I was on my first attachment at an NPC, in the backseat of a patrol car, and getting a first-hand view of what Ground Response Force Officers do. 

What was this experience like?
In one particular case, the officers and I came across a pair of teen brothers who were roaming around with a large amount of cash. We managed to determine that the boys had taken the cash from their grandmother and were going to spend it on themselves. 

When questioned about where their parents were, they replied that their father was in prison and their mother had left them with their grandmother. We took the boys into safe custody until their grandmother was able to pick them up. 

The Ground Response Force Officers were superb at walking the line between canny scepticism and sensitivity to people’s circumstances, motives and dignity. They’re the very officers that we see patrolling our neighbourhoods, and are representative of the many dedicated men and women who serve with a human touch and intimate knowledge of the community.

ASP Joshua SPF 02B
Ready to serve: Ground Response Force Officers perform a range of duties from patrolling to manning Police counters, and are often the first to respond to 999 calls. PHOTOS: Home Team News

Tell us about your work now at Rochor NPC. 
We’re in the heart of things here. The hours are long and unpredictable, and much of the time, we’re walking or patrolling in our car, and speaking to individuals who may be in a state of emotional distress. After we return from our patrols, we document all our actions. 

It’s not for the faint-hearted, but there are also moments of joy. The other day, while I was in my patrol car, I halted at a traffic crossing. A little boy stopped in the middle of the road, pointed at the car, and mouthed the word “Police”. His face lit up and he began to wave manically. 

My partner and I couldn’t help but smile and wave back. It was a touching moment – one that reminded us why we do what we do, amidst the commotion of 999 calls. It was comforting to know that he, and many others like him, take comfort in our work and presence.

ASP Joshua SPF 03B
Knowing the ground: ASP Joshua will serve a posting at Rochor NPC before taking on investigative duties at his next appointment. PHOTOS: Home Team News

A Career in the Home Team
If you’re keen to learn more about becoming a Home Team Guardian, visit the MHA website.

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 06 September 2018
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