Special training, equipment for crack force

Frontline police officers will soon be equipped with semi-automatic pistols instead of revolvers and the police will be setting up the Emergency Response Force to strengthen Police Coast Guard operations.
Frontline police officers will soon be equipped with semi-automatic pistols instead of revolvers and the police will be setting up the Emergency Response Force to strengthen Police Coast Guard operations.
Frontline police officers will soon be equipped with semi-automatic pistols instead of revolvers and the police will be setting up the Emergency Response Force to strengthen Police Coast Guard operations.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Four Police Coast Guard officers, armed with HK MP5 sub-machine guns and ballistic glasses and helmets, boarded a besieged vessel and quickly neutralised the two hostile gunmen.

The newly trained Emergency Response Force (ERF) officers demonstrated their skills in the armed attack scenario at a press briefing on Monday, which took place at the Police Coast Guard (PCG) headquarters. The ERF will be formed by PCG officers with the mission to neutralise terrorists who carry out attacks against Singapore's maritime interests or who attempt coastal infiltration.

Their land counterpart - the Emergency Response Team - was rolled out last year and is made up of crack troops equipped with the same guns. The two teams will be among the first responders to any terrorist attack.

On what sets ERF officers apart from the PCG, Superintendent Ang Eng Seng, head of operations and security, said besides specialised equipment, ERF officers will go through an additional yearly physical review customised for the maritime domain and will be put through enhanced training that is more stringent. "This (the ERF) will augment the coast guard's operational capabilities to continue to keep our territorial waters safe and secure," said Supt Ang.

By June, every PCG patrol boat will have ERF-trained officers. A batch of ERF-trained officers has been patrolling the seas since training began last December.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2017, with the headline 'Special training, equipment for crack force'. Print Edition | Subscribe