Published: 13 October 2018
AC Poh Lye Hin
Director, Police National Service Department
SUPT Wendy Koh,
Acting Commander, Police Training Command
Graduating Trainees, Parents and Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good evening, and a very warm welcome. I am very pleased to be here to witness the graduation parade for the 172nd intake of the Police National Service Officers.
2. Congratulations to our graduating trainees on successfully completing the Police Officer Basic Course. During the past 14 weeks, you have learnt the foundational skills of a Police officer. In the process, you have also grown stronger, both mentally and physically, and built new friendships with your course-mates. Together, you will be taking on the important role of safeguarding our nation.
3. I would like to also congratulate our 18 NSFs who will receive the Best Trainee awards today. You have conducted yourselves to the highest standards and excelled during your training. The awards are a reflection of your hard work and commitment, and you can be very proud of yourselves.
4. We must also not forget the parents and families in the audience today. The achievements of your sons and brothers can only be made possible by your support at home. As the trainees mark the end of their training with this graduation parade, their joy, excitement and achievement are also yours to share. Thank you very much for supporting them along this journey.
National Servicemen Form an Indispensable Pillar of the SPF
History and Importance of National Service
5. National Service (NS) started more than 50 years ago. As a newly independent nation, we suddenly found ourselves responsible for protecting our borders and safeguarding our homes. NS helped us to achieve this by building up a citizen security force.
6. Over the years, NS has played a key role in bringing Singaporeans from different races and backgrounds together through a shared experience. More importantly, it has contributed to the safe and secure environment we enjoy today. It is this peace and stability that has allowed our nation to progress and prosper.
The Challenges of Policing Today
7. Many of the fathers in the audience today would have served NS themselves, 20 to 30 years ago. Despite the passage of time, the importance of national service has not changed. The mission of keeping our nation safe remains critical.
8. First, terrorism is a global phenomenon which threatens the security and safety of all countries, including ours in Singapore. We live in a time where the threat of terrorism is not a question of if, but when. When a terrorist attack does occur, you must stand ready to respond to protect your family, friends and community.
9. Second, the types of crimes have evolved. On one hand, traditional crimes like robbery and housebreaking have gone down. On the other, new crimes such as cybercrime and online cheating scams continue to rise. We must harness technology to complement the traditional methods of policing in the fight against crime by making sure our officers remain ahead of the curve.
Enhancing the National Service Experience
Equipping Our Officers to Enhance Operational Effectiveness
10. To ensure that you are equipped to succeed, we have continually invested in technology and tools to enhance the effectiveness of our Police officers. Frontline officers will be equipped with a body-worn camera to record their interactions with members of public. Such cameras help our officers in post-operation investigations and are also useful training tools to improve ground responses. Officers will also be issued with a Police smartphone which allows them to receive real-time information on the ground, allowing them to respond faster and better. Officers can also look forward to seeing multi-purpose smart robots which can help patrol and detect suspicious activity. Such robots complement the day-to-day patrol duties of Police officers, especially during major events.
Training Opportunities and Specialisation to Enhance Proficiency
11. In the days to come, many of you will undergo further training and specialisation before being deployed on the ground. Besides being deployed at the frontline Neighbourhood Police Centres, many of you will also be deployed in specialist units like the Police Coast Guard, Special Operations Command, the Protective Security Command, and the Public Transport Command.
12. Those who have displayed an aptitude for command leadership will also be selected for the Officer Cadet Course where you will be able to hone your leadership skills and subsequently take up leadership roles in various SPF units.
13. Regardless of your vocation and rank, all of you will play a major role in ensuring that our neighbourhoods and streets remain safe, our borders are secured, and our key installations and public transportation networks remain protected. In your various roles, you will have a direct impact on the sense of safety and security of fellow Singaporeans.
14. As you graduate from the Police Training Command, you will become the thin blue line that stands between right and wrong. As law enforcers, you will be called upon to protect the vulnerable and help those in need. It is a noble calling that allows fellow Singaporeans to sleep soundly at night.
15. When carrying out your duties, the SPF’s four core values of Courage, Loyalty, Integrity and Fairness will always be able to guide you in making the right decisions. Have the courage to do the right thing, even if it is not necessarily the easy option. Be loyal to the Force, your fellow Singaporeans, and your country. Be of unquestionable integrity so that you are incorruptible, and never abusing the trust and responsibility entrusted to you. Lastly, always maintain fairness in your dealings with the public whom you serve.
16. Once again, I congratulate you on completing your training. All of us are counting on you, like many of your brothers in blue before you, to make Singapore our safe and secure best home. I wish you all the very best in your NS journey.