Front-line cops to get smartphones that offer timely case info

Security personnel patrolling at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Security personnel patrolling at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

By the end of next year, all front- line policemen will be issued smartphones which give timely and relevant information about incidents they are responding to.

The smartphones will be secured for Singapore Police Force (SPF)- specified apps, and information transmitted cannot be intercepted.

The devices, which also function as normal phones, are part of the Home Team's efforts to utilise technology and data to enhance the capabilities of its agencies.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said: "As officers are reaching a destination, they can look at a variety of relevant data, and it will provide them with better situational awareness in responding to incidents."

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He was speaking last night at the Home Team Promotion Ceremony. More than 180 senior-ranking officers were promoted at the first of such ceremonies this year.

In total, more than 4,600 Home Team officers from agencies like the SPF, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will be promoted in the coming weeks. This includes operationally ready national servicemen from the SPF and the SCDF, and members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary.

Mr Shanmugam outlined some examples in the ongoing Home Team transformation announced last year and targeted for completion by 2025. Adding that the changes would tackle manpower constraints in particular, he cited how the ICA has started using technology and data through the collection of iris images and multi-model biometrics at checkpoints. ICA will also increase the number of automated clearance counters, he said.

 

Addressing the officers, he said: "As leaders in that journey, the success or failure is going to be dependent on you. You will have to carry it. Lead your teams, sustain the momentum and morale and prepare our officers and our Home Team for the journey."

Mr Lee Wee Kiang, 43, assistant director of the Commercial Affairs Department's Financial Investigation Division One, was promoted by one grade at yesterday's ceremony.

He said: "Being part of the Home Team provides the perfect platform to create a positive difference, and that can be a great source of satisfaction and accomplishment."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2017, with the headline 'Front-line cops to get smartphones that offer timely case info'. Print Edition | Subscribe