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Mentoring Officers in the Home Team
Lessons from Assistant Commissioner (AC) Koh Wei Keong of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), who served as mentor to participants of the inaugural Home Team Foundation Course (HTFC).

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For the 40 participants of the inaugural HTFC, one highlight was the opportunity to learn from senior Home Team officers such as AC Koh Wei Kiong. PHOTO: Home Team Academy


Held in January 2018, the HTFC focused on fostering a One Home Team mindset among newly appointed uniformed and civilian officers. Serving as mentor to the 40 participants was AC Koh Wei Keong, Commander Jurong Police Division, SPF. He shares his mentorship experiences with us.

What were your thoughts when you were approached by the Home Team Academy to be the HTFC mentor, and how did you prepare yourself for this role?

I felt honoured. I started thinking back on my own experiences working with the various Home Team Departments through the course of my 21-year career. I reflected on what kinds of experience would be worthwhile for the course participants to hear about; things that would be useful to them in the next three years of their postings and that they should bear in mind as they embarked on their careers with the Home Team. Following this line of thought, I came up with several concrete examples to share.

What were your goals as a mentor?

I had to deliver a lecture on “Operating as One Home Team”. I didn’t want to sugar-coat things for the participants when it comes to working together as one Home Team.

I also set out to keep my sharing more grounded rather than focusing a lot on theory. I made it a point to share frankly about how it had been for me to work with different Home Team Departments and Government agencies.

One of the things that I always think about is mutual benefit. My parting shot for my lecture was that there will always be challenges, but at the end of the day, we have to see ourselves as Home Team officers and focus on the Home Team mission. I encouraged the HTFC participants to rely on one another’s strengths and capabilities to achieve our mission. I shared the difficulties I faced, but also the good outcomes, to keep things real and yet inspire them.

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The HTFC is a two-week residential programme that exposes participants to the work of Home Team Departments. PHOTO: Home Team Academy


What was your takeaway from your mentorship experience?

Looking at the officers, who were full of energy, the first thing that struck me was that it’s nice to be young! [laughs]

But on a serious note, I feel that they were very fortunate to go through such a course. As I shared with them, my friendships with other Home Team officers was built mainly through work. Over time, I got to know these officers better and was lucky to forge friendships after many years.

The HTFC is good as it allows participants to understand the Home Team better, right from the start of their careers, and to start building these networks early.

Things are only going to get more complicated. Certain issues are no longer confined to one or two Departments. For example, security events often involve agencies beyond the Home Team, like the Singapore Armed Forces, the Land Transport Authority and so on. I hope that the HTFC participants value the opportunity to learn about such things early in their careers.

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The Home Team Academy increasingly engages senior Home Team officers to play an active mentoring role. By sharing their experiences, they can help groom future Home Team leaders. PHOTO: Home Team Academy


What final words of advice do you have for young Home Team officers?

Working within the Home Team means we cannot work in silos. Whether it’s about ground operations or sharing intelligence, more cross-Department collaborations will be needed. We have to rely on one another to get the work done.

Officers should also maintain their inquisitiveness about other Home Team Departments; find out what they are doing, what new capabilities they have, and how you can bring these back to your own Department. Always think about how you can collaborate and build networks.

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


  1. by Home Team Academy
  2. 02 March 2018
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