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Together as One: Walking the Talk in Embracing Innovation
Whatever his assignment, CPT Jenks Tan has a singular commitment to pursuing a better – and more effective – way to work.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

Captain (CPT) Jenks Tan started his Home Team career as a Rota Commander at the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) Jurong Fire Station in 2014. The deployment taught him valuable lessons in leadership that he took with him in 2016 to the National Service Training Institute (NSTI) as an Instructor. At both postings, CPT Jenks had one thought on his mind – to constantly improve how he did his work. 

Putting Himself in Their Shoes
As an Instructor, CPT Jenks’ main duty was to conduct In-Camp Training (ICT) for Operationally Ready National Servicemen (ORNSmen). His goal was to have each ORNSmen learn a new skill during his ICT, and he went the extra mile to help them refresh their lifesaving skills and knowledge, ensuring that their ICT was meaningful and well-utilised.

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Thank-you notes from ORNSmen to CPT Jenks for his service and dedication. PHOTOS: SCDF

Having been through a number of ICTs prior to signing on, CPT Jenks also understood the questions that ORNSmen might have about pay, time-off for family matters and so on, and he went the extra mile by making himself available to them. 

Enhancing Training through Innovation

One of CPT Jenks’ roles was to train ORNSmen in the specialised role of managing Civil Defence shelters. This led to him develop new training materials to help shelter technicians manage hazmat scenarios. He also worked to incorporate SGSecure-related content into lessons.

“For example, acts of terrorism remain a matter of concern globally and within the region,” said CPT Jenks. “By referring to current affairs in our lessons, we can better communicate SGSecure messages to our ORNSmen. They can, in turn, share this information when engaging with members of the public, and demonstrate that we all have a part to play in keeping Singapore safe and secure.” 

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PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

To help his fellow officers better prototype and implement smart facility devices, CPT Jenks also organised a micro-controller workshop with the Singapore Science Centre

Driven to Innovate
CPT Jenks has been supporting Transformation initiatives as a member of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Planning and Organisation Division since July 2019. In his drive to innovate, he draws inspiration from his father, a retired SCDF officer who often shared stories of his days as a lifesaver, such as when he took part in the rescue efforts following the collapse of the Hotel New World in March 1986. 

“My father often marvels at how technology has made our work as frontliners more effective and efficient,” said CPT Jenks. “His stories inspired me to join SCDF, and encourage me now to persevere in seeking innovation. It’s about seizing the opportunity when it comes.”

Once a Lifesaver, Always a Lifesaver

This impulse served him well one night in January 2018. In the wee hours of the morning, CPT Jenks received an alert on the MyResponder app that an elderly woman in his neighbourhood needed assistance. “I jumped up immediately and responded, just as I did during my days as a Rota Commander,” he recalled. 

Reaching the scene of the emergency, CPT Jenks found the elderly woman semi-conscious. He reassured her in simple Hokkien and kept the SCDF Operations Centre updated on her condition till the ambulance crew arrived. 

“We all have a part to play in staying vigilant,” explained CPT Jenks as he recalled the events of that night. “And we all have a shared responsibility to keep our community safe!”


Public Sector Transformation Awards 2020
The Public Sector Transformation Awards recognise public officers and agencies for excellence in their work and organisational practices. This year’s Award Reception was held virtually on 21 October, and 80 recipients in various categories were recognised for their contributions and service. 

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All together now: In his first posting as an SCDF officer, CPT Jenks served as a Rota Commander at Jurong Fire Station. PHOTO: SCDF

CPT Jenks is one of the recipients of the Exemplary Service Excellence Award at this year’s Public Sector Transformation Awards. Congratulations to him and our other Award recipients from the Home Team!
• Star Partner Award (Singapore Police Force): SHINE Children and Youth Services
Exemplary Innovator Award: Anti-Scam Centre, Singapore Police Force
Citizen Engagement Excellence Award: Dadah Itu Haram Campaign, Central Narcotics Bureau
• Exemplary SkillsFuture @ Public Service Award: SWO1 Mohammad Iskandar Bin Mohamed Ibrahim, Singapore Civil Defence Force
Exemplary Service Excellence Award: ASP Kiran Devi, Singapore Police Force
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Ashley Tuen
  2. 12 November 2020
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