Specialist police unit fully operational by year end

Protective Security Command commanders Manimaran Pushpanatan and Ben Tan guiding Mr Amrin Amin on the use of the Taurus revolver yesterday, with Dr Tan Wu Meng looking on. The unit was set up to protect sensitive locations and provide security at key
Protective Security Command commanders Manimaran Pushpanatan and Ben Tan guiding Mr Amrin Amin on the use of the Taurus revolver yesterday, with Dr Tan Wu Meng looking on. The unit was set up to protect sensitive locations and provide security at key national events. It has the largest group of full-time and operationally ready national servicemen within the police force.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

About half of Protective Security Command officers have completed their training

A specialist police unit that protects sensitive infrastructure and locations, and provides security at key national events, will be fully operational by the year end.

Half of the officers at the Protective Security Command (ProCom) have completed their training, and half of this group have already been deployed for operations, such as at the Marina Bay Countdown.

Yesterday, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin and Dr Tan Wu Meng, a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law, visited the unit's Ulu Pandan base.

ProCom, which was commissioned in July last year, was operationalised last December. The unit is a transformation of the Key Installations Command (Kins), which focused on protecting places such as power stations.

Addressing the media on the change yesterday, Mr Amrin said: "It was born out of necessity, given the changing security climate, given the threats we are facing. We are on the highest alert ever."

NO ROOM FOR COMPLACENCY

It was born out of necessity, given the changing security climate, given the threats we are facing. We are on the highest alert ever.

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR HOME AFFAIRS AMRIN AMIN

This is why there is a need to dedicate resources to ensuring officers have the right training in surveillance, events management and security screening, he added.

ProCom officers also receive scenario-based training and are taught to handle more equipment. While Kins officers previously used the HK MP5 sub-machine gun, ProCom officers also use the Taurus revolver.

The unit has the largest group of both full-time and operationally ready national servicemen (NSFs and NSmen) within the police force.

ProCom commander Ben Tan, an NSman holding the rank of deputy assistant commissioner, said: "We are also tapping more of the NSmen's private-sector experience."

For example, officers who are IT-savvy can help devise ways to improve inter-unit communications, said Mr Tan, who works as a deputy director at Republic Polytechnic.

NSF and NSmen in the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force have been taking on more leadership and specialist roles over the years.

Special Constable Shafwatuddin, 21, a ProCom NSF, said he enjoys his duties. "It allows me to protect and keep the country friendly and safe."

His job includes patrolling public areas such as the vicinity of Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Amrin said of the NSF and NSmen's front-line duties: "We have created this platform to ensure that they are able to be more involved in the security of this country. It's heartening to see them embracing this role... learning very quickly... and in time to come, helming these units."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2017, with the headline 'Specialist police unit fully operational by year end'. Print Edition | Subscribe