CISCO security officer receives commendation award for boosting efficiency

Senior Staff Sergeant Mohamad Ismail Yahaya, 48, a CISCO security officer, receives a Commendation Award at the Commissioner of Police's Commendation Ceremony.
Senior Staff Sergeant Mohamad Ismail Yahaya, 48, a CISCO security officer, receives a Commendation Award at the Commissioner of Police's Commendation Ceremony. ST PHOTO: s

SINGAPORE - Last year, it took the Certis Cisco Security Logistics Security Administration unit six hours daily just to chart the duties of its ground staff.

Senior Staff Sergeant Mohamad Ismail Yahaya decided he had to do something about it.

After three months of brainstorming and another three months of observing daily operations and consulting colleagues, the 48-year-old devised a new system that reduced the time needed to under 10 minutes.

For his initiative in ensuring efficiency, the Certis security officer received a Commendation Award from Commissioner of Police, Hoong Wee Teck, at a ceremony on Saturday (June 3).

"I'm very happy, but also excited," said Sgt Ismail. "I never expected to get an award for this."

He was in charge of the Compliance Unit and assigned to help the Security Administration Unit with its logistical efficiency early last year.

Prior to the change, supervisors had to fill in attendance by hand on a printed sheet. The completed sheet then had to be sent through an online system for further processing.

"For one person it's not so bad, but for a whole team it's a problem," he said. Each of the company's 50 security officers had to confirm their attendance details individually before it could be processed.

"The tricky part is when it comes to individual sorting, because it's easy to make mistakes. When you see the name in one corner and the attendance in another corner, you might mark the wrong name."

Now, attendance details can be referred to in an Excel sheet that can be updated in real-time by supervisors and ground staff.

"I want to make it easy for my men to adapt. In other words, to cascade, so that when I'm away, someone else can take my place," said Sgt Ismail.

The 'O' Level graduate was previously sponsored by Certis Cisco to attend a Diploma in Police Studies and Security Management at Temasek Polytechnic. He graduated in 2008.

"I've been practising it (the skills learnt in the diploma programme) all along," he said with a laugh. "But when you give yourself more exposure, you can relate what you learn to what you do."

The father of five said his children, aged between 10 to 24 years old, were excited when they heard he was receiving an award and wanted to watch the Commissioner of Police Commendation Ceremony at the Home Team Academy.

"The most important thing is not the award," he said. "It's feeling of satisfaction from helping your men on the ground to achieve something."