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Being Proactive: The Key to Protecting Ourselves
It’s all about knowing how to apply the principles of Protective Security – five questions with Dr Bryan Lim, one of the recipients of the 2018 Home Team Trainer of the Year Award.

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Senior Assistant Director Bryan Lim of the CPSS is committed to teaching the principles of Protective Security to Home Team officers and members of the public. PHOTO: Amni Amran

Dr Bryan Lim, 47, is the lead trainer for Protective Security courses conducted at the Centre for Protective Security Studies (CPSS) at the Home Team Academy. He also plays a leading role in developing course curricula to prepare stakeholders for the uncertain security climate. He shares why it’s important to teach others to be proactive about Protective Security.

What does CPSS do?

We’re facing the threat of terrorism around the region and the world. Singapore isn’t immune to this. So before the terrorists can do something, we need to protect ourselves. That’s where Protective Security comes in.

CPSS is a training centre that focuses on Protective Security. It’s about protecting our country against the threat of terrorism. What we do at CPSS is teach people about various threats and how they can strategise and introduce the necessary protective measures.

Do your trainees comprise mostly of Home Team officers?

Our primary focus was Home Team officers because we wanted to raise the knowledge level and standard of our officers as they are the ones who engage with the public.

But we also recognised the need to provide this training to key stakeholders such as the owners of certain buildings and facilities. Otherwise, there would be a knowledge gap between Home Team officers and these stakeholders.

So we’ve provided some training to members of the public to enable everyone to communicate and work better together. That’s what Protective Security is all about – working together.

How do you explain the principles of Protective Security to stakeholders and members of the public?

One analogy that we use is how we always take care of our own household security. Every morning when we leave our house, we lock our door. We’ll make sure that certain things are secured because we want to ensure that our house is safe. This protective mindset and culture must come from within.

At CPSS, we teach trainees about threats that they should be aware of. With this awareness, they are able to survey their own buildings and environments to see if these are adequately protected. They will then be more proactive in taking ownership of security measures needed, rather than wait for someone to tell them what they should do.

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Innovation in teaching – the Protective Security board-game developed by Dr Lim and his team. PHOTO: CPSS

It’s very different from the instructional type of training where you learn steps one to five and then keep practising thereafter. We teach trainees a methodology that guides them through a thought process. We then provide them with certain scenarios, give them the chance to apply what they have learnt and share their ideas with the class.

Tell us about the Protective Security tabletop board-game that you came up with.

We created this board-game as an alternative way to learn.

I was inspired by the board-game “Risk”. However, our game is about fortifying what we have and is infused with the principles of Protective Security. The point is to make certain decisions about our environment and when something bad happens, our decisions should help us.

We’re trying to drive home the principle that if we can identify a threat early and put in the necessary safeguards, we can mitigate any damage caused by an incident.

How do you feel about receiving the Home Team Trainer of the Year Award?

It’s heartening to get recognition for the effort that we’ve put in over the years. I hope that this will extend to other equally deserving – if not more deserving – officers in the years to come.


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

  1. by Jamie Ang
  2. 19 January 2018
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