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Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin: TransCom Officers are Prepared for Crisis
Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin joined police officers from the Public Transport Security Command.

As train commuters zipped from one station to another, police officers from the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) kept their eyes peeled for potential security threats.

A specialist unit under the Singapore Police Force, TransCom was set up in 2009 to oversee and manage policing efforts across all rail, including MRT and LRT, and bus networks in Singapore.

TransCom officers, who are mostly Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs), conduct patrols in groups of four, looking out for suspicious items and conducting checks on persons who behave suspiciously.

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TransCom officers’ presence in train stations is reassuring, said Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin, who joined them on patrol at various stations including Boon Keng MRT station on 25 February 2016. Photo: Christopher Chen

Trained to detect and handle improvised explosive devices, these officers also attend to crime and security incidents that take place within the public land transport system, and are deployed to ensure safety and security when exceptionally large crowds are expected near MRT stations and bus interchanges.

“This is a very special unit because the frontline is 100 per cent manned by NSFs (Full-time National Servicemen). I followed them on their tour of duty this morning and I’m very inspired by their determination as well as their professionalism,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin, who joined TransCom officers on patrol at various train stations including Boon Keng MRT station on 25 February 2016.

Mr Amrin said he asked the officers how they felt about the recent terror attacks in London, Paris and Jakarta.

“And they said yes, they are concerned about it. I asked them, ‘It could happen to one of us. Why do you still come to work?’ All of them gave the same answer— ‘Our safety, our family’s safety is on the line.’ And I think that speaks volumes of the people whom we have, the quality of our NSFs, their love for their country and their commitment to serve and I think that is very inspiring.”

“The peace and security is really not something we can take for granted and the presence of our security officers is very reassuring; and it’s very nice to see our men rising up to the occasion and serving the country with distinction,” he said.

 

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Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin said the safety of our public transport system is a “shared effort” and thanked commuters for cooperating with security checks. PHOTO: Christopher Chen

 

Mr Amrin also spoke to commuters and said he was glad to see them responding positively: “I saw not just the police officers, but the transit security as well, those who check bags, and I saw how passengers were cooperating and I think this is the spirit. This is truly putting in practice what we have been saying that community security is a shared effort by everyone and we see it today.”

While TransCom officers are trained and prepared to handle crisis situations, ensuring public safety and security is “not just the role of police officers or the security agencies but it’s a shared effort by all”, Mr Amrin said.

“It’s impossible for just the police alone to shoulder all the responsibilities. It’s truly a shared effort and requires the public to alert the police of any suspicious items. We see the public doing that, and I think that is what we want to encourage, and that is not just what we’re doing in TransCom but also across the Home Team,” he said, citing examples of how the Police has leveraged technology and the community through police cameras (PolCams) and vehicle watch groups.

Addressing the shortage of manpower in the Home Team, he said, “The manpower crunch is something we have to manage and we are using technology. We’re also involving the community in our efforts across various fronts... It requires a concerted effort, a multi-faceted approach, and this is what the Home Team is doing as a whole.”

 

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TransCom officers conduct daily patrols at MRT stations and within trains in groups of four and are trained to look out for suspicious items and persons. PHOTO: Christopher Chen

 

Special Constabulary Corporal Muhammad Farid Bin Yusoff was one of the officers on patrol during Mr Amrin’s visit and has been in the TransCom unit since June 2015.

Asked if he meets difficult commuters, he said, “Most of the time, people will comply and work with us as they understand that they too have a part to play in keeping Singapore safe.”

Special Constabulary Sergeant Nicholas Joseph, 24, said TransCom officers are trained on how to approach members of the public and explain to them the reason for their security checks.

“We are trained to be vigilant on the ground, and these skills will continue to be useful even after NS. As a civilian, I can still continue my duty and alert the authorities if I spot anything suspicious,” he said.

 

VIDEO: Mabel Yap

 

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


  1. by Denise Lee
  2. 25 February 2016
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