Singapore Police's Special Operations Command marks 60th anniversary

The Special Tactics and Rescue (Star) Unit reciting the Police Pledge, with the SOC vehicles in the background, during yesterday's parade at the command's Queensway base.
The Special Tactics and Rescue (Star) Unit reciting the Police Pledge, with the SOC vehicles in the background, during yesterday's parade at the command's Queensway base.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

The Special Operations Command (SOC) of the Singapore Police Force celebrated its 60th anniversary with a parade at its Queensway base yesterday.

Some 400 guests attended the parade, including Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee and senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the police, external stakeholders, strategic partners and attaches from various embassies.

The event's guest-of-honour was Mr S. Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry.

The SOC began as the Riot Squad back in June 1952, which was set up in the wake of the Maria Hertogh racial riots. It was then a single squad of 60 personnel from various races, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police J. H. Davies.

Now, the SOC comprises various specialised units, including the Police Tactical Unit, the Police K-9 Unit (previously the Police Dog Unit), the Special Tactics and Rescue Unit, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, and the Crisis Negotiation Unit.

The celebration's pre-parade segment saw the Police K-9 Unit showcasing the prowess of their canines.

Guests were also treated to a performance by bagpipers from the police band, and watched trainees from the latest Police Tactical Course demonstrating police contact tactics.

The parade was led by the commanding officer of the Police K-9 Unit, Superintendent Koh Lye Meng, who was also the parade commander at the SOC's 50th anniversary celebrations.

It showcased five marching contingents made up of 160 officers from various sub-units of the SOC, as well as a mobile column featuring SOC vehicles.

brynasim@sph.com.sg