Home Team's own academy to be a 'corporate varsity'

Superintendent Colin Tan was one of the 6,700 Home Team officers promoted at the ceremony yesterday. He will assume the rank of assistant commissioner from June.
Superintendent Colin Tan was one of the 6,700 Home Team officers promoted at the ceremony yesterday. He will assume the rank of assistant commissioner from June.ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

More Home Team officers will be able to pursue customised academic courses, such as in law and order, to prepare them for the future.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam announced plans yesterday for the Home Team's own academy to be a "corporate university" that will partner local and international institutes of higher learning to train officers in a broad range of areas.

Currently in the works are tie-ups with UniSIM and the National University of Singapore's law faculty, he said at the Home Team Promotion Ceremony at Orchard Hotel.

Close to 6,700 officers were promoted this year, with 5,000 being regular officers from the various Home Team departments and statutory boards and the others operationally ready national servicemen and members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary.

"The jobs that we do in the Year 2025 will be very different from the jobs we are doing today," he told the officers present, as he encouraged them to embrace the plans to transform the various agencies under the Ministry of Home Affairs over the next decade.

READY FOR THE FUTURE

The jobs that we do in the Year 2025 will be very different from the jobs we are doing today. We will need to provide greater priority to training and development of our officers to prepare them for the changes ahead. 

HOME AFFAIRS AND LAW MINISTER K. SHANMUGAM

"We will need to provide greater priority to training and development of our officers to prepare them for the changes ahead."

Home Team officers in leadership positions will also benefit from a new Centre for Leadership within the academy which will offer specialised modules.

A new one-stop online portal, called the Home Team Learning Management System, was also launched to allow front line officers on operational duties to easily access learning materials online.

Superintendent Colin Tan, 41, who has been with the Home Team for 17 years, will be among the officers promoted this year.

Currently serving at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, he will assume the rank of assistant commissioner from June.

He played a key role in leading crisis operations during the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 from Surabaya in December 2014, in which 162 people died, an event that has stuck with him till today.

"It really hit home because I have a two-year-old daughter. When I got the news, I was in church next to my family. I was just in disbelief," said the deputy commander of ground operations at the Airport Command.

He contacted the next of kin of passengers and worked to expedite help for them, while also managing ground operations during the "uncertain and intense" period.

He also had a hand in developing a fully automated immigration check-in and clearance system which will be rolled out in Terminal 4.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2016, with the headline 'Home Team's own academy to be a 'corporate varsity''. Print Edition | Subscribe