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Herstory: Finding the Missing Piece of the Puzzle
Passionate about a job with many different dimensions – learn what a CNB Specialist Investigator does to keep Singapore drug-free.

Herstory is a series that highlights the Home Team’s outstanding female officers and their experiences.

A small office filled with stacks of files that are marked “Confidential”, some personal belongings and a window that allowed sunlight to filter through, in case one lost track of time – this is where Assistant Superintendent (ASP) 2 Subashiyni Ramakrishnan spends hours viewing CCTV footage, all to find those few seconds that are vital to the cases that she’s investigating. 

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A crimefighter’s instincts: ASP 2 Subashiyni’s job requires painstaking attention to detail. PHOTO: Fatimah Mujibah

At Ease in the Field and the Courtroom
ASP 2 Subashiyni’s passion for law enforcement runs deep. A visit to CNB’s Headquarters when she was a Secondary School student piqued her interest about the agency’s operations, especially investigative work. She joined the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in 2011. Now a Specialist Investigator, she’s often out in the field interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence at crime scenes. 

ASP 2 Subashiyni also assists Prosecutors from the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Her duties include attending court trials and appeals; ensuring that expert witnesses are well-briefed; and preparing physical evidence related to cases. This requires a deep understanding of the criminal justice process. 

With seven years on the job, ASP 2 Subashiyni is ready for whatever the day – or night – brings. “Our working hours are very unpredictable," she revealed. “There are times when we’ll have to leave a family function to attend to our duties. But our families understand the importance of what we do.”

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Proud to be a Specialist Investigator. PHOTO: Peggy Tan

A Team Effort
Speaking to ASP 2 Subashiyni and observing her thoughtful and calm demeanour, I could understand why she’d stepped forward to take on a broader portfolio to lead a team. “We have an experienced team and I was a little apprehensive at first,” she shared. “But working as one during many different operations and crises has brought us closer together as a family.”

Her proudest moment came when her fellow officers commended her for ensuring their safety during a particular enforcement operation. Asked what the hardest part of her job is, she had this to share: “Many drug abusers hide what they do from their spouses, children and families. But when their offences come to light, the family members often turn to us for answers and assurance. It can be challenging to address all their concerns while also conveying the facts of the case.” 

Three Vital Qualities
According to ASP 2 Subashiyni, persistence, diligence and a dash of creativity are vital qualities for an investigator to have. “It’s critical that we chase down every possible lead efficiently, and document each step of our process,” she explained. “Finally, we need to think out of the box to find the missing piece of the puzzle that will crack a case.”

Having devoted many painstaking hours to investigative work, ASP 2 Subashiyni believes no other job can be as rewarding. “I’ve always received a strong sense of fulfilment from what I do, whether it’s fighting drugs or helping the family members of drug abusers grapple with the fact that their loved ones turned to drugs,” she said. “If you’re passionate about keeping Singapore drug-free, CNB offers many opportunities for you to grow. It’s been an exciting journey for me!”
 

Herstory
Want to learn more about the inspiring women officers in the Home Team? Check out:
- Herstory: What It Means to Save a Life
- Herstory: Policing Our Coasts with Pride
- Herstory: Helping Inmates Navigate Through Difficult Challenges

  1. by Peggy Tan
  2. 28 February 2019
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