Lim Siew Ling, a Home Team Festival visitor said, "If we see anyone in uniform, we’ll run to them for help."
Many of us can relate to this sense of relying on officers in uniform for security matters. At the three-day Home Team Festival held at the Singapore Expo last weekend (13-15 November 2015), we saw many types of uniforms donned by the men and women in the Home Team. There were many attractions to keep the public intrigued and entertained but we were attracted to the variety of uniforms.
Here are some that caught our eye.
The Community Policing Unit
Bermudas and bicycles. How cool is that! They are our neighbourhood policemen who belong to the Community Policing Unit (CPU). We learnt that this initiative was started just a few years ago. Nazzrie Hazali, who works in the eastern part of Singapore, told us that he and his team have apprehended drug offenders.
The Traffic Police
Motorists would rather not meet the Traffic Police (TP) officers. This is because among other reasons, they can arrest those suspected of drink-driving. With the help of the Breathalyzer Evidential Analyser (BEA) Test Centre Vehicles, which has been used since last year, officers no longer need to drive suspects back to headquarters because test results can be obtained on-location.
Police National Service Department
We found out that the Police National Service Department (PNSD) consists of many sections including the Major Operations unit and the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom). They are specially trained to put the safety of Singaporeans first 24/7. For example, PNSmen under Major Operations are deployed to conduct anti-crime patrols and crowd control. You might have seen them patrolling during the 28th SEA Games.
We were told that those from TransCom were officially commissioned in 2009, following terrorist attacks in London, Madrid and Mumbai. The unit is staffed primarily by regular and full time National Servicemen. They are familiar with MRT operations and trained to conduct policing work in confined and crowded areas. You can spot them by their light-grey berets and navy blue tactical uniforms.
We also discovered more about the National Service Installation Unit (KINS) which was formed in 1994. It mobilises NSmen to prevent and deter potential threats to Singapore’s security and their duties includes protecting key installations during periods of increased tension such as national emergencies.
By Winnie Goh, Steffi Wee and Clarissa Soon
Year 2 Students, Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media, Singapore Polytechnic