Wednesday 7 August 2013

Home Team urged to uphold professionalism, integrity

When officers fall short, reflect on what went wrong, reminds DPM Teo
By Jalelah Abu Baker, The Straits Times, 6 Aug 2013

THE Home Team should reflect on what went wrong when officers "fall short" of standards, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.

Speaking at an award ceremony for those who had made large contributions to Singapore's safety and security, he called on officers to uphold "professionalism and integrity".

Staff from Home Team agencies such as the Singapore Police Force, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and the Singapore Prison Service were honoured at the event.

Mr Teo said: "From time to time there may be individual officers who fall short of the high standards that we have set for ourselves, and which Singaporeans expect of Home Team officers."

His comments came after officers made the news for the wrong reasons. Last month, a policeman was charged with the high-profile double murders of a father and son in Kovan, while a prison officer was found guilty of causing the death of an inmate by negligence. Both men were veterans.

Some 104 officers were honoured with this year's Minister for Home Affairs National Day Award at the ceremony at the police headquarters in Novena.

Among them was Superintendent Lim Sze Yuk, senior assistant director of intelligence operations at the CNB.

In his 14 years in the service, the 41-year-old has planned the islandwide dragnet operations, in which officers conduct regular three- to five-day operations to arrest drug offenders. He has also initiated tactical training for the bureau's arm of volunteer officers.

"The award was surprising because this is what we do as officers, with no expectations," he said.

Another recipient was Staff Sergeant Quan Soo Cheng, 31, a neighbourhood crime analyst from Pasir Ris Neighbourhood Police Centre.

She has served the area for 11 years and analyses local crime trends so that officers can conduct more focused patrols.

Mr Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, said Singapore is ranked 16th among 162 countries in the 2013 Global Peace Index published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, largely because of the safety and security enjoyed here.

He said that this would not be possible without the community.

Among 10 volunteers honoured was Staff Sergeant (V) Tommy Chu. The 37-year-old independent financial adviser spends 12 hours a week at Woodlands Fire Station as an ambulance medical orderly, attending to emergency calls. He has been with the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit for seven years, and joined to save lives.

Mr Chu, who also teaches first aid, said: "Time is a critical factor and we have to react very fast."

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