More than 6,000 Home Team officers promoted this year

Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Arul David Scott and Ms Sylvia Liaw, assistant director (Data Science and AI-Ops Capabilities) at the Science and Technology Group at MHA, were among the officers promoted on May 22, 2019. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Coming from a family with 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 one of the pioneer naval officers working on board Singapore's first navy ship, while his mother was a teacher.

SAC Scott, 49, joined the Singapore Police Force 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 Trump-Kim summit.

On Wednesday (May 22), SAC Scott was one of about 280 Home Team officers promoted at a ceremony in Orchard Hotel, which was attended by Manpower Minister 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 the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force, as well as 107 members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary and Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit.

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, she said several initiatives have been started, 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.

Mrs Teo also said 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 leaders get it wrong, they 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.

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

Mrs Teo also noted in her speech that a centralised data system called the MHA Data Lake is being developed to organise and retrieve data from across the Home Team.

She said technology presents opportunities to achieve more with less manpower.

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, and 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 management executive level MX10.

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