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In the Home Team, Together
Guardians with a heart for the Home Team, and each other – a chat with ASP Augustine Pang of SPF and INSP Tan Xin Er of ICA.

Having met during their university days, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Augustine Pang of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Inspector (INSP) Tan Xin Er of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) began their Home Team journeys together, with 2020 marking their second year of marriage. We had a chat with them about their shared Home Team bond.

Home Team News Valentines 2020 SPFxICA 01
PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

So, how did you meet?
ASP Augustine:
I was studying Sports Science at Nanyang Technological University and we happened to stay in the residential hall on campus. We became friends during our orientation camp. Over time, we got closer and things kind of developed from there.

INSP Xin Er: I was studying Psychology, and we had many mutual friends. When I first met Augustine, I remember thinking that he was very “sporty”. But we found it really easy to talk to each other, and we became friends instantly.

ASP Augustine: We progressed naturally towards becoming a couple during our second year at university. I think it was better that we started out as friends – because we were already so close, and we had nothing to hide from each other. When we finally got together, we already knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

INSP Xin Er: We got married in June 2018. We used to go out for movies, but now we tend to do more activities at home, like cooking.

Home Team News Augustine Xin Er 01
PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

Tell us about how you joined the Home Team, and what you do now.
ASP Augustine: Xin Er and I decided to join the Home Team together in 2016. I was previously an Investigation Officer at Tanglin Division, but now, I’m a Team Leader at Woodlands West Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC). I manage a team of Ground Response Force (GRF) officers and our Policing duties including manning the service counters and conducting patrols of our jurisdiction.

INSP Xin Er: I’ve been with ICA for almost four years. My first posting was at Woodlands Checkpoint as a Team Leader, and I was posted to the Integrated Operations Command at ICA HQ in late 2019. I monitor operational conditions across the checkpoints and coordinate efforts to manage and resolve “live” incidents. As part of my job, I also collate key statistics.

What’s a regular day at work like for you?
INSP Xin Er: When we’re assigned to our morning shifts, we’d wake up at 6am and finish our shifts at around 8pm before meeting for dinner. We’ll wind down afterwards by watching Netflix; lately, we’ve been into Brooklyn Nine-Nine!

ASP Augustine: We currently work opposing shifts, so out of every four days, we spend about two evenings together. 

Share a memorable moment you’ve had as a couple.
INSP Xin Er: When Augustine was going through his nine-month training at the Home Team Academy, I was there training to become an ICA officer as well.

ASP Augustine: Since we weren’t allowed to carry our phones with us, we weren’t able to talk to each other. So, whenever we happened to see each other from opposite blocks, we’d wave. 

INSP Xin Er: Those were the little moments when we could catch each other. 

Home Team News Valentines 2020 SPFxICA 03
Photos: Tan Xin Er

What’s one thing you admire about each other?
ASP Augustine:
Xin Er is very meticulous and detail-oriented. Whenever we travel, she’s very savvy about things like prices and currency conversions! I’m also grateful for the little things she does. When I was an Investigation Officer, I worked long hours, but when I got home, Xin Er would always have dinner ready.

INSP Xin Er: Augustine’s a playful, more hands-on kind of person, while I tend to be a little more quiet. Above all, I admire his passion for his work. Once, during his days as a GRF officer at Orchard NPC, he came home with many abrasions from having chased after a suspect. But I don’t worry about him as much as I used to. Ah, he also does the housework without me asking! [laughs]

What do you enjoy most about your work?
INSP Xin Er: ICA officers need to work closely as a team to serve the public, so we’ve developed strong bonds and a great camaraderie. It’s this team rapport that I enjoy the most.

ASP Augustine: For me, it’s being able to contribute in a way that most people can only see on TV. Doing investigative work, examining a crime scene, following leads and so on – it can be challenging, but once you accept it as your duty, you’ll do it without question.

Home Team News Valentines 2020 SPFxICA 04
PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

What are your goals for the future?
ASP Augustine:
I enjoy being on the frontlines as it involves hands-on work and dealing directly with the problems that the public faces. So I hope to continue doing this for a while longer.

INSP Xin Er: Never a dull day goes by and there are always new things to learn at work. I hope that every day will be a learning experience. Outside or work, we're looking to travel to Japan again soon!

What do you appreciate about being in the Home Team together?
INSP Xin Er: If we both weren't acquainted with Home Team jargon, it might take double the effort for us to express what we want to. Serving together in the Home Team, we face similar challenges and can understand each other easily.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Soo Jun Xiang and Tiffany Tan
  2. 25 February 2020
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