Initiatives launched to help Home Team work together, says Josephine Teo

Ms Sylvia Liaw from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Senior Assistant Commissioner Arul David Scott were among the 280 Home Team officers promoted at a ceremony yesterday. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Ms Sylvia Liaw from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Senior Assistant Commissioner Arul David Scott were among the 280 Home Team officers promoted at a ceremony yesterday. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Coming from a family of four generations of civil servants, it felt only natural for Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SAC) Arul David Scott to join the police force after he graduated from university.

His father was a pioneer naval officer working on board Singapore's first navy ship, while his mother was a teacher.

SAC Scott, 49, joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in 1995, and developed an interest in maintaining public security through tactical operations.

In 2015, he was appointed commander of the Special Operations Command, which manages SPF's response to public order and security threats.

Since then, he has managed several large-scale events, including last year's summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Yesterday, SAC Scott was one of about 280 Home Team officers promoted at a ceremony at Orchard Hotel, attended by Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo.

This year, a total of 6,235 officers from across the Home Team will be promoted.

They comprise 4,082 regular officers from Home Team departments and statutory boards, 2,046 operationally-ready national servicemen from SPF and the Singapore Civil Defence Force, as well as 107 members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary and Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit.

TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR OFFICERS

The goal is to use data-related analysis to try and solve challenges, such as optimising the response times of ground officers.

MS SYLVIA LIAW, assistant director (data science and AI-Ops capabilities), Science and Technology Group at MHA

 
 
 

Addressing the Home Team officers, Mrs Teo said the various departments and statutory boards need to continue to build a culture of working together.

To achieve this, several initiatives have been launched, such as the setting up of a Home Team Operations Centre that will act as the 24/7 nerve centre for all Home Team operations, she said.

Mrs Teo also noted that leaders need to be clear on their principles and do the right thing, even if it is sometimes the unpopular and more difficult choice.

"Even when we get it wrong, we must have the courage to adjust course," she added, citing the Government's decision in March to revoke a concert permit for Swedish metal band Watain.

Commenting on the incident, she said reactions to the concert being held were "not anticipated in our original assessment" and the Government decided to reverse its position after taking them into account.

Noting that technology presents opportunities to achieve more with less manpower, Mrs Teo said a centralised data system called the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) Data Lake is being developed to organise and retrieve data from across the Home Team.

For Ms Sylvia Liaw, assistant director (data science and AI-Ops capabilities), Science and Technology Group at MHA, the use of technology can help to complement the work of officers on the ground, to help them identify threats.

"The goal is to use data-related analysis to try and solve challenges, such as optimising the response times of ground officers," said Ms Liaw, who was promoted to MX 10.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2019, with the headline 'Initiatives launched to help Home Team work together, says Josephine Teo'. Print Edition | Subscribe