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HTX-Factor: First In, Last Out, at F1
Meet the unsung HTX officers who work behind the scenes at major events and operations to make sure they go off without a hitch.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

Every year, Singapore plays host to a variety of events from small, intimate festivals to major international blowouts. But what does it take to plan, implement and manage a comprehensive IT plan that ensures public safety and security? 

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Capability Sustainment officers at F1 (from left): Jason Tan, Chua Chee Khiang and Hafidz Bin Samat. PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang
To find out, we caught up with three officers of the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX). It was the Friday before the Singapore F1, and as members of HTX’s Policing Ops Systems Division, they were working hard behind the scenes to support the Police Command Posts for the event. 

First In, Last Out 
During major events, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) deploys officers, equipment and other resources to safeguard public safety and security. Each deployment has its own requirements, from network infrastructure and surveillance systems to screening equipment and Command, Control and Communications systems. 

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On the scene: Policing Ops Systems officers plan, implement and manage the tech solutions, services and support for SPF operations. PHOTOS: HTX
What the Policing Ops Systems team does is to plan, implement and manage the IT requirements for these operations. According to Superintendent Chua Chee Khiang, Head of Policing Ops Systems (Operations), the team’s mission is, “To make sure the show goes on.”

For major events like F1, the team operates on a “first in, last out” basis. Before other Home Team officers arrive to take on their roles at the Command Posts, Chee Khiang and his team ensure that all the necessary IT networks, systems and equipment are tested and ready. And after an event is over, the team will commence the recovery process, ensuring that, “No IT is left behind.” 

Holding Down the Fort 
At this year’s F1, SPF established Command Posts at various strategic locations. Entering one that was located close to the F1 track, we saw a range of Home Team tech on display, from communication consoles to surveillance platforms. 

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On-site surveillance: A CCTV installation near the F1 track ensures that Home Team officers have a view of happenings on the ground. PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

Meanwhile, an IT Support Cell had been set up near this Command Post to manage HTX resources and vendors, and to ensure that the IT systems and equipment were in order.  

Among the officers working during F1 was Hafidz B Samat. With more than 10 years’ experience in IT support, Hafidz has participated in many SPF operations and received the Overseas Medal in 2015 as part of the SPF contingent that assisted in the search-and-rescue efforts for AirAsia flight QZ8501.

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HTX officers like Hafidz bring deep S&T experience to making sure SPF operations run smoothly. PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

Having spent more than two days at the main Command Post at F1 to plan, test and deliver various IT systems, Hafidz and his fellow officers would continue to monitor these over the race weekend. “It’s challenging,” he said, “but we’re committed to making sure the show goes on.” 

“It’s always a challenge to plan and manage the setting up of technology requirements, given our tight timelines,” explained SUPT Jason Tan, Assistant Director (Policing Ops Systems) and a veteran in IT operations support for over 15 years. “Thankfully, we have a team of experienced and dedicated officers, including Divisional Technical Officers, who are forward deployed at various SPF units, and this makes the difference.”  

The Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX)
HTX is the world’s first S&T agency that integrates a diverse range of scientific and engineering capabilities to innovate and deliver operationally-ready solutions for homeland security. As a Statutory Board of the Ministry of Home Affairs, HTX works at the forefront of S&T to empower Singapore’s frontline of security.

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Minister for Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam at the launch of HTX. PHOTOS: Minister K Shanmugam’s FB, Home Team News

HTX was launched on 2 December 2019 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Read the speeches by Prime Minister Lee and Mr Chan Tsan, Chief Executive of HTX, at the launch.

Want to learn more about a career with HTX? Check out this page.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Soo Jun Xiang
  2. 18 December 2019
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