1st batch of expert track police officers appointed

Among the newly appointed officers are (from left) ASP Tan Hoe Chye, 43; Supt Goh Tat Boon, 48; and Senior Station Inspector Mohammed Noh, 40. The scheme is part of efforts to attract more young people and retain good officers.
Among the newly appointed officers are (from left) ASP Tan Hoe Chye, 43; Supt Goh Tat Boon, 48; and Senior Station Inspector Mohammed Noh, 40. The scheme is part of efforts to attract more young people and retain good officers.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

144 officers in new scheme will develop skills in investigation, special operations or intelligence

The first batch of 144 officers under the police force's new expert career track scheme were appointed yesterday.

The scheme is a new career pathway for police officers to develop deep skills in investigation, special operations or intelligence.

The scheme was first unveiled during the annual Police Workplan Seminar in April.

It is part of the revamp of the police force rank structure, which is aimed at attracting more young people and retaining good officers.

In July, the police implemented a unified rank structure for all officers - allowing junior officers seamless advancement opportunities to climb up the ranks.

But other than being promoted through the ranks, officers on this new expert track can also progress in their career by first starting out as a senior specialist, before going on to become a principal specialist and, finally, an expert.

The newly appointed officers received their certificates of appointment from Commissioner Hoong Wee Teck at a ceremony at Police Cantonment Complex yesterday.

A police spokesman declined to reveal details, but said officers need to meet several prerequisites, including having a certain amount of experience, before they can qualify for the expert track.

The first batch of expert track officers comprises two experts, 25 principal specialists and 117 senior specialists. The officers are from units such as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the six police divisions, the Traffic Police, Commercial Affairs Department, Police Coast Guard, and Special Operations Command (SOC).

One of the expert officers is Supt Goh Tat Boon, 48, who is head of the CID Special Investigation Section. Supt Goh said the new scheme will give junior officers a pool of experts to go to for advice.

Expert track officers are required to mentor junior officers and go for courses to deepen their expertise.

Supt Goh said: "Investigation is a skill that needs to be sharpened over time. With this scheme, it helps us to specialise and provides a very structured training development. At the end of all that, it helps to enhance our skills."

In the investigation track, for instance, officers can choose to specialise in areas such as criminal, cybercrime, post-blast investigations and specialised interviewing.

ASP Tan Hoe Chye, 43, a principal specialist on the special operations track, said the new scheme will also give the police force an easily identifiable pool of subject-matter experts. ASP Tan, who is the officer-in-charge of the SOC's school of tactical training, led the team that developed the training syllabus for the police force's new counter-terrorism Emergency Response teams.

He said: "From a bigger perspective, it will benefit the entire organisation because we can tap on these particular experts to develop certain areas, whether it is in the tactical arena, investigations or intelligence."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2016, with the headline '1st batch of expert track police officers appointed'. Print Edition | Subscribe