Today's entry is something really exciting and I can't wait to share about it! I never thought we would get a chance to work on assignments with the government and the last thing I would expect is an assignment with our national security force, in other words, the Singapore Police Force (SPF). So just imagine how thrilled I was when I was first briefed/told that we will be paying a visit to the various units such as the Special Operations Command (SOC), Central Police Division as well as the Police Training Command (TRACOM) which I'll be sharing later. ;)
Until this trip to the SPF, I never knew what exactly does the Force do, or what does a Police officer do on a daily basis/ in general – Guess I'm a classic example of a complacent Singaporean who knows that i'm living in a safe country with tight security but never bother finding out about the contributions of the state. And after this first full day-trip to TRACOM & Central Police Division, I actually felt a little guilty for not playing my part to know/understand about the contributions and commitments of our Police Officers. Definitely seeing the SPF in a whole new different light now, and if I were to use three words to describe SPF after the experience I'd, they would be - Impressive, Admiring & Inspiring. Read on and I believe you would feel the same too ;)
Besides not knowing about the job scopes of a Police Officer, I had zero clue on what they go through before they are officially appointed as one. Together with Yina & Rachell, we had this privileged chance to understand/see the trainings and even experienced some of them!
With the ladies & us waiting for our tees. We got to don on a 'Trainee Tee' for the day's trip.
As we had to cover a huge area in a short period of time, we were very honoured to have a buggy prepared by the team for us to move around the compound!
Had a Welcome and Introduction by a Senior Police Officer,, Mdm Superintendent Lilian Tan, a Superintendent who has been in the force for 18 years and still counting.
The introduction was rounded up with a brief on the various areas of the place.
We were provided with the Ops Utility belts that Police Officers put on when they patrol around the neighbourhood. Yes, the belt where they will place their weapons! Amazed by how they can carry it the whole day and I thought it was pretty heavy when ours didn't have any weapons still. Was told that it will be about 7KG in total when all weapons/tools are slotted in and was surprised that it didn't feel uncomfortable nor did it hinder movement throughout the day despite its weight.
We do look like trainees, don't we? ;D
This Obstacle Course area consists of obstacle stations and each station showcases a similar obstacle an officer will encounter in public. These stations are to be completed at one go within a certain time frame (5minutes 30 seconds for males, 6 minutes 30 seconds for females), now I'm impressed by the fitness level of our officers!
Besides that, the obstacles and challenges we encountered were unexpectedly, pretty manageable even for ladies like us with no prior training nor are we exactly the tallest females around. With more trainings, I believe most of us can definitely pass the obstacle course as long as we have the determination! ! Especially to those who feel that you aren't of a decent build to be a police officer yet having the passion to be in the Force, don't doubt yourself and I strongly do encourage you passionate ones to give it a try :)
We had demonstrations by officers along the way.
And we got to try out some of the easier stations. Phew ;)
One of the stations – creates the experience of chasing a criminal up to the roof top of our HDB blocks.
TIME CHECK: 10AM
Another amazing experience because we learnt some defence tactics as well as we got to test out weapons/tools that officers use – T baton & Handcuffs! We even had real life demonstrations and people for us to practise on.
Warm-up exercise before the practice began.
A useful tactic we learnt and took home for that day. ;)
Showcase a demostration of defence tactics (The entire module consist of 67 moves and techniques!) that a Police Officer will learn//be equipped of and they were indeed, indeed impressive. Am looking at them with full admiration, SALUTE!
TIME CHECK: 11AM
One of the most exciting programmes for the day – Combat Shooting! We got to do a dry practice with the real life revolvers at the shooting range after the briefing.
This is how the shooting range looks like. So thrilled that we got to hold a real weapon and it's not as easy firing the shots as I've imagined it to be. I do think that all officers who are part of the force are really remarkably-trained for fitness and discipline. It was rather nerve-wrecking to be holding a real pistol but the officers were very understanding, and guided us systematically on how to handle one. Awe-inspiring ;)
TIME CHECK: 11.45AM
Do you know that they have a fake 'real shopping mall' built in the compound? I was in awe when we were brought there and this is how 'real' the trainings are! There were shops just like a neighbourhood, escalators, ATMs situated around the area too.
Excited us ;)
We witnessed an exercise done by the trainees, and learnt about their usual trainings.
TIME CHECK: 12.15PM
We paid a trip to the dormitory, to view their rooms and facilities.
I thought the dormitory was very clean, airy and spacious.
Every dormitory is located with a gym for trainees to train.
TIME CHECK: 12.45PM
We got the chance to dine in with the officers and trainees!
Practising good hygiene, just look at how smiley we were to be back-to-primary-school days ;)
I thought this was an amusing shot of us. All (except the officer) looking like big lil kids queuing for our food ;)
What they eat. A generous serving I must say and I thought the food was pretty good!
Ended our first half of the day at TRACOM and a big thank you to Mdm Lilian Tan for taking time out to guide us around the compound. Got to learn and understand a lot about the SPF from her and Mdm Tan is definitely a very inspiring-individual to look up to. Singapore is safe and fortunate to have officers like her. :)
TIME CHECK: 2.30PM
LOCATION: CENTRAL POLICE DIVISON
We sat in for an introduction, learning/understanding about the Police Officers' roles on a day to day basis.
We got to explore some of the equipments that are frequently use.
Last activity of the day was to patrol around with the police officers. Was really exciting for us in particular because we got to sit in a police van/car (I mean, what are the chances?! Unless one performs crimes or either, an officer). Thrilled!
Witnessed how the Community Policing officers (CPOs) perform their day-to-day tasks and by the way, they are all in bermudas instead of long pants due to ease. Don't be surprise to see them walking around the neighbourhood!
And a big thank you to our patrolling officer, it was definitely an eye-opening experience!
Thankful to be witnessing/experiencing one of the most important and inspiring arms of Singapore's governance. Not denying the fact that the trainings might be pretty intensive, but after gaining a bit more understanding about the force and their day-to-day trainings, career progression and contribution, I do think every single Police Officer (as well as those who are training to be one) is truly an admirable figure. I am in awe with the commitment and discipline level of each individual and they are definitely the people we Singaporeans are grateful to have because they are the ones who keep the neighbourhood/nation well-protected every single day. Feel a lil ashamed of how lil I know of the Force and was truly impressed with what we learnt/know of after. The experience made me feel that being part of the Force is indeed one of the most meaningful careers one could have.
Trainings are intensive (especially for me who hasn't been working out for a while), but I actually felt that they were pretty manageable for one who has no experience (not even in CCAs related such as NPCC etc when i was younger). We also had a lot of guidance along the way by different Officers and they were very understanding, patient and knew exactly what were the problems we each will usually face/feel. If I being not so competent in sports and all can complete these trainings, i believe you can definitely do so much more ;)
Besides that, we got to know about the standard benefits of being a Police Officer and I bet you are interested to know them too. It's definitely one of the better paying government jobs around, meaningful, challenging and fulfilling. Do you know a Police Officer is entitled to:
1. Annual leave of 28-35 days (most jobs are 14 days, and the most I know – eg.banks, are 21 days)
2. Annual medical leave of 14 days or 60 days with hospitalization
3. Course Sponsorship (subject to approval)
4. Annual Study leave of 12 days (subject to approval)
5. Retention payments
6. Retention and Retirement Plans
7. Class 3 driving license sponsored
8. Use of local/overseas holiday chalets and bungalows
9. Marriage and baby benefits
Other benefits that one will get too:
1. SIGN-ON BONUS – New direct-entry officers with Full ‘A’ Level Certificates, International Baccalaureate (IB) / NUS High School Diplomas , Llocal polytechnic diplomas/NAFA/Lasalle qualifications will receive a sign-on bonus of $10,000. They will also be required to serve a 2-year Bond with SPF.
2. RETENTION BONUS PAYOUT – New officers will also look forward to $30,000 to $60,000 bonus payouts over the first 13 years of service
3. SPONSORED OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUTURE EDUCATION – I bumped into a few University friends during my visit too and realised they were under the SPF Scholarship back then!
You might want to know:
1. BASIC SALARY – For Polytechnic Diploma holders, Pay Scale is from $1920 to $2370 for a start and entry rank is a Sergeant
* Starting salary will vary accordingly to assessment of academic qualification, work experiences and completion of Full-time National Service
2. FOR MALES WHO HAVE YET TO SERVE NS – Under the Minimum Term of Engagement (MTE) scheme, pre-Enlistees are allowed to join SPF as a regular officers and receive FULL pay and benefits, while serving NS with SPF.
I believe some of you might have questions to ask, you can just post your questions directly on SPF's Facebook Page. Alternatively, feel free to drop me a comment and I'll answer you to my best of knowledge or I can try to help by asking the Force on your behalf ;) For a start, you might wish to support SPF's Recruitment Facebook Page and take part in their contest to win movie tickets home! ;)
To find out more about Careers in SPF, click HERE.
I'll be back with my experience Part II because we will be exploring the Special Operations Command (SOC) on another day. Am sure it will be another awe-inspiring experience so stay tuned ;)