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Force Multiplier: Women in Policing
Celebrating 70 years of women in Policing.

The journey of women officers in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) began in 1949 with 10 pioneers in service. This number now stands at almost 1,800, with women officers deployed in almost every Police unit and serving in a range of frontline and organisational roles. Undergoing the same rigorous training as their male counterparts and taking on the same challenges on the ground, our women officers have proven themselves to be an essential part of our efforts to keep Singapore safe and secure. 

Community Crimefighter
One area in which women officers have a steady presence is Community Policing. Walking the beat in our neighbourhoods, officers respond to cases ranging from lost pets to arresting crooks. 

Chasing down a suspect along a highway at Bedok Reservoir probably isn’t a common experience for many Police officers, but for Sergeant (SGT) Nikita Wong, it’s just part of her job as a Ground Response Officer at Bedok North Neighbourhood Police Centre.

During her days as a Communications student at Temasek Polytechnic, SGT Wong took a module on Media Law that piqued her interest in Singapore’s legal system and the investigative work done by Police officers. 

Home Team News SPF Women 02
SGT Wong is one of many women officers who has contributed to keeping Singapore safe and secure. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Before joining SPF, SGT Wong was worried whether her physical fitness was on par with what was expected of officers. But this only motivated her to put in the hours and train harder. The effort has paid off (especially when it comes to chasing suspects along highways) and, as she noted, SPF functions as one cohesive unit: “At the end of the day, Policing is all about teamwork.”

Another constant is the concern shown for officers on duty by their families. “My mum has trouble falling asleep when I’m on the night shift, and she’ll text me to check that I’m safe,” shared SGT Wong. “I always assure her that I’m trained to do my job.” 

As a recipient of a scholarship from the Ministry of Home Affairs, SGT Wong is now pursuing a degree in Criminology and Security Studies at the Singapore Institute of Technology. She’s also paying it forward by serving as a career advisor with SPF, sharing her experiences with aspiring women officers.

Inside Investigations 
Another critical domain in which women officers play an essential role is investigations. After 29 years with SPF, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DC) Florence Chua still loves coming to work; as the first female DC (Investigation and Intelligence) and concurrent Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, she’s helped to solve many major cases and shut down numerous criminal syndicates. 
 
DC Florence Chua SPF 01B
PHOTO: Home Team News

Determination has always been among DC Chua’s qualities, one she displayed from her earliest days as an officer. “We expect the same resilience of all our officers, male or female,” she recalled. “If there’s a ladder in front of me, I’m expected to climb it. We’ve all had to squeeze through a hole in the wall to get into a room, or climb onto a roof. If our male officers do it, our female officers also have to.”

Click here to learn how DC Chua leads from the front. 

Making Sense of the Big Picture
Women officers aren’t only making a difference on the ground; they also play an essential role in strategic planning and operations. Take Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ong Ruo Cheng for example – an Operations Officer with SPF’s Major Security Events Division, she helps to ensure that major events such as the National Day Parade, F1 and the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown take place without a hitch. 
 
Home Team News SPF Women 05
DSP Ong enjoys making a difference in people’s lives. “Most people aren’t aware of the planning that goes into making sure that events like F1 and the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown are secure,” she said. “What we do is to ensure people can have a good time, without worry.” PHOTO: Natasha Razak

2018 was an especially busy year for DSP Ong and her team. One event that posed a special challenge was the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit. Held in June 2018, it had unique, multi-layered security considerations, with numerous details to account for – and only a month to complete all the planning. 

But the team was more than equal to the task. “We worked every weekend and only slept four hours a night,” recalled DSP Ong. “There were also many days during our deployment period when we didn’t go home. But we continued to push through, together.” 
 
Securing the Summit- Home Team Officers in Action
One Home Team: Home Team officers played a crucial part in making sure the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit was a success. PHOTOS: Home Team News, SCDF, SPF, ICA  

According to DSP Ong, what made the difference was everyone working as one. “It was truly teamwork that made it succeed,” she explained. “It takes more than physical ability to keep Singapore safe and secure, and women officers equally important roles in the Force.”

  1. by Natasha Razak
  2. 08 March 2019
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