Police beacon for the security of parkgoers launched at Punggol Waterway Park Connector

The "Police Beacon" makes it possible for officers in the command centre to observe and talk to parkgoers. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - To enhance their presence and enable quick intervention in park connectors, the police are trialling a new technology structure that will allow parkgoers to ask for and receive help quickly.

The "Police Beacon", a structure comprising closed-circuit television cameras and a communications button linked to the police operations command centre, makes it possible for officers in the command centre to observe and talk to parkgoers.

The first beacon prototype was launched on Friday (Dec 11) at the Punggol Waterway Park Connector by Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan. The second prototype at Sengkang Riverside Park will be operational by the end of this month.

Besides communication capabilities, the structures also have warning features, such as a siren, speakers, blinkers and floodlights.

In addition, the beacons have automated external defibrillators (AED), with the police receiving an alert when members of the public access them.

Officers at the command centre will then assess the situation and mobilise emergency medical services as required.

An electronic screen attached to the beacons displays crime prevention messages. The police will monitor calls and live video feed from these structures at a separate workstation in the command centre.

Mr Tan said the beacons allow for "immediate mitigation of incidents" through warning systems, such as the activation of floodlights and public announcements.

"This will hopefully allow members of the public to have some assurance that the police are supporting them while the response team tries to arrive as soon as possible," he said during the launch event on Friday.

Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Lionel Lee, operations officer in the police's Future Operations and Planning Division, said that park connectors were chosen, as the areas are relatively more secluded and have less police surveillance.

The police already have a strong presence in crowded areas like the Orchard belt, which is well covered by surveillance technology and police patrols, he said.

He added that both prototypes will be trialled for a year. If the trial is a success, the force will look into deploying more beacons in park connectors and other public spaces.

The police beacons have warning features, such as a siren, speakers, blinkers and floodlights, as well as automated external defibrillators (AED). ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

The beacon technology was developed in collaboration with the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) over the past year.

Although the beacon's components are not new, HTX's Victor Yuen, head of operations systems in the agency's Policing Programme Management Centre, said the innovation here lies in integrating such technology into the police's workflow.

DSP Lee added: "The Singapore Police Force will continue to explore and adopt technology that enhances our capabilities to keep Singapore safe and secure."

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