'Fulfilling job that trains you to be patient person'

PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

About two months into her job, Sergeant Cassandra Lee was alerted to a suicide case.

The 23-year-old police officer from Nanyang Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) was patrolling when she was told to head down to a dormitory where a worker had hanged himself.

She said: "I was a bit anxious, and prepared for the worst... I had to help carry the body down."

That image was seared in her mind for several days, as it was the first time she had dealt with a body.

"I couldn't get that image out of my head," she said.

A police officer is also a jack of all trades, added Sgt Lee, as she shared a domestic dispute case that she handled about half a year ago.

She said: "The parents and their daughter were fighting with each other and my colleagues and I had to separate them... For an hour, I tried to counsel them. They eventually cooled down and reconciled.

"It could have been worse... sometimes people call the police to prevent quarrels from escalating."

Sgt Lee, who graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a diploma in Multimedia and Infocomm Technology, wanted to join the police force as she likes interacting with others.

She signed up in November 2013, and went for a six-month training stint before being posted to Nanyang NPC.

"I want to make a difference in others' lives... I have thought of doing social work but I felt policing is more interesting," she said.

"My brother served his national service as a police officer and he shared with me stories."

She added: "This is a fulfilling job... In some cases, people share their problems and we will try our best to help. It trains you to be a patient person."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline ''Fulfilling job that trains you to be patient person''. Print Edition | Subscribe