Published: 12 July 2018
Senior Assistant Commissioner Loy Chye Meng, Commander, Training Command, and Deputy Chief Executive, Home Team Academy,
Parents and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good evening, and a warm welcome to all.
2. I am very pleased to be here today.
3. Congratulations to our graduating trainees on successfully completing the Police Officer Basic Course. You have spent the past 14 weeks learning the foundational skills of a Police Officer which includes, operations and procedures, criminal law, weapon handling. In the process, you have made new friends and grown more independent and resilient. You are now ready to take on greater responsibilities – and play an active role in keeping Singapore safe.
4. I would like to congratulate our 16 NSFs who will receive the Best Trainee awards. Throughout these 14 weeks, you have persevered and excelled. Your strong foundations will support you well in the rest of your NS journey.
5. Congratulations also to the five outstanding Police NSFs who have been named the NSF of the Year. I salute you for your exemplary service and commitment. You have made your family and the Police Force proud.
6. The achievements of our National Servicemen are only possible with the support of their parents and families. Thank you, for entrusting your sons to us. Thank you for supporting them on their NS journey.
Home Team National Servicemen have a larger role to play
7. National Service is vital to our security and the foundation on which Singapore’s progress is built.
8. Our NS officers are at the frontlines, keeping Singapore safe and secure. For instance, during the recent summit between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, our NSFs and NSmen played an active and important role by manning checkpoints, conducting patrols, even serving as translators.
9. Everyone served tirelessly – especially our Muslim officers who were fasting during Ramadan.
10. We know that we can count on you. That is why we are entrusting our NS officers with greater responsibilities. More NS officers will serve in frontline-support roles, such as in the ops room or in community engagement. We will also give more NS officers more leadership roles. As Group Leaders in the Public Transport Security Command and the Protective Security Command and as specialists at Neighbourhood Police Centres, Airport Police, Police Coast Guard and Special Operations Command.
Enhancing the National Service experience
11. We want your two years in NS to be enriching and meaningful.
Broaden and deepen your skills
12. Policing offers many opportunities for you to learn and grow. You will better understand your community and country through your interactions with colleagues and citizens from backgrounds different to yours and you will pick up soft skills such as teamwork, empathy, communication, resilience – just to name a few. This will prepare you well for life after NS.
13. The Home Team will also help our NSFs deepen their existing skills. We will do so by posting you, where possible, to vocations based on your inclinations and background. For example: Those with qualifications in Banking, Accountancy or Finance could be posted to the Commercial Affairs Department; and those with a media or design background may serve in the Public Affairs Department.
14. As far as operational needs allow, we will provide for as many NSFs as possible to benefit from such deployments.
Building lasting friendships
15. The friendships forged are an important part of NS. You will work with people from all walks of life over your two years, and I know many form strong bonds with your team.
16. This camaraderie is important operationally – you want to know that your teammates will have your back when you are out on operations.
17. This camaraderie is also important personally to many National Servicemen as well. Many I know look forward to their call-ups, as a chance to reconnect and work with their NS buddies again.
18. The Police values this camaraderie. We will keep NS units and the buddies together, where possible, for the Operationally Ready National Service phase.
A safe and supportive work environment
19. Just as you have a commitment to your nation, the Home Team and the Police have a commitment to you. We promise to take care of your well-being, and give you a safe and supportive work environment.
20. Policing is not easy. In operations, our officers may face verbal abuse or the threat of physical harm. We will train and equip you to deal with these risks.
21. Beyond operations, we will create a safe working environment. We will strengthen our command culture, so as to ensure that all Police officers support and look out for each other. Abuse or harm by one officer to another will be severely dealt with. Each and every officer has the duty to stop and report any unauthorised or harmful activities in the workplace.
22. To take care of NSFs’ psychological and emotional well-being, the Police has extended the hours for its counselling helpline. Since the start of the month, the helpline has been running 24/7. You may call this helpline to report any abuse you may have seen or suffered, or to talk about any difficulties that you may encounter. You should not hesitate to use the helpline, or seek help from your para-counsellors, medical officers or commanders. Your feedback and concerns will be taken seriously and in confidence.
23. Courage, Loyalty, Integrity and Fairness. By now, I’m sure every one of you can recite the Police core values by heart.
24. As you leave this parade ground, remember the four core values, and your commitment to: Courageously uphold the law, and safeguard the lives of your fellow citizens; Be loyal to the country, the Force and the community; Conduct yourself with integrity, and to never abuse your authority as a Police Officer; And, treat everyone fairly – regardless of who they are, or where they come from.
25. I would like to thank all of you, and your family members for all the sacrifices and contributions you have made to keep Singapore safe and secure. I wish you the very best as you take the next step in your NS journey with the Home Team.