Could you share more about yourself and how you got to know of the HOME Award back when you were still studying?
I come from a middle income family and studied at Temasek Polytechnic from 2009 to 2012. It was during my third year of studies thatI received letters for my impending 2 years of National Service. It was also then that I received a Home Award application letter and was immediately drawn to it. The letter offered me the chance to join the Singapore Police Force (SPF) under the Minimum Term of Engagement (MTE) Scheme and a Polytechnic scholarship. I saw it as a good offer and immediately jumped at the opportunity.
What is your childhood dream? Is it different from what you are doing now (i.e. a Home Team Officer)?
Honestly, I did not dream of becoming a police officer. Like others of my age then, I wanted to be part of some major multinational corporation and work my way up. I never thought that I would become a police officer. However, ever since I received the Home Award and joined the Force, I see my work filled with purpose. I am now not working to strive for ever-increasing profits but to serve the daily needs of the people living in Singapore. As an organisation, our mission is to prevent, deter and detect crime and the work we do makes Singapore a safer and better place to live in.
Why did you choose to apply for the HOME Award? Was there any reason for it, such as the passion to be a Home Team Officer?
I thought hard before applying for the HOME Award and there were many factors that contributed to my eventual submission . I saw SPF as an organisation that has many opportunities. I like to try different things, and there are many different departments and roles, all working towards fighting crime in Singapore, one way or another.
How did you feel when you received the news that you were one of the HOME Awardees? Was it a very proud moment for both you and your family?
Before receiving the news, my family and I were eagerly waiting for the results of the application. Upon receiving the good news, we were overjoyed and I am glad that I had the support of my family and friends. My family was not too worried about me working as a Home Team officer because my dad and grandpa were police officers before.
Is your course of study relevant to your line of work?
I studied Business Process and System Engineering in Temasek Polytechnic. I felt that it was a course tuned to my interest, which allowed me to explore the never-ending process of improvement in the efficiency of processes and systems. The lessons I have learnt in Polytechnic have not gone to waste in my line of work as there have been many scenarios in which they are applicable . Right now, I am currently helping out in small projects in SPF that involve improving workflow to make things more efficient.
Are there any people who have inspired you and to whom you are grateful, i.e. parents, teachers, mentor at work etc?
I am glad that I have excellent supervisors who have guided, taught and given me many opportunities to grow and learn, not to mention the fantastic bond we have as a team, which allows us to face challenges together.
How do you find work thus far? Were there any poignant moments or encounters that have inspired you?
Every day in the Singapore Police Force is different. You will meet different people, attend to different cases and most importantly, gain new knowledge and learn from those around you with each passing day. While dealing with people can sometimes be difficult, it is through experiencing such encounters that we grow.
There was an incident of a crime in progress, where a call was received that someone was in the process of dismantling a bicycle. Upon our arrival, however, the subject had already left. We started searching and gave chase based on the description we were given but were unable to apprehend the person. Despite that, my colleagues and I persevered, eventually managing to locate the subject. Mistakes will be made at times, but it is the grit, determination and teamwork that will enable every police officer to overcome any difficulties faced.
Could you tell me how the HOME Award has made a change in your life?
Since joining the Force back in June 2012, I have been deployed to Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) as a Ground Response Force Officer and subsequently as a Community Policing Officer in the recently rolled out Community Police System (COPS). I am honoured to be part of Jurong East NPC for all the things that I have experienced and learnt, which has changed my perception of life and how I want to live it. I encountered many experiences for the first time in this line of work, and am now more positive and realistic in my views.
Would you continue staying with the Home Team after your bond ends?
I look forward to continue working with an organisation that provides ample opportunities to grow holistically, and I believe the Home Team is one such organisation.
What is one advice you would give to your fellow juniors who want to apply for the HOME Award?
My advice to potential HOME Awardees is to not be afraid to take up challenges, and to always think positively, because with the right mindset and attitude, there are endless opportunities within SPF that await you.