Singapore Police Force launches new community volunteer police scheme

Unlike regular police and Voluntary Special Constabulary (VSC) officers, VSC (Community) officers will not carry firearms, but will still have arrest powers and carry batons, handcuffs and communication sets.
Unlike regular police and Voluntary Special Constabulary (VSC) officers, VSC (Community) officers will not carry firearms, but will still have arrest powers and carry batons, handcuffs and communication sets.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Those keen to join the police force as volunteer officers but are concerned about not being able to commit the time can now serve in the force under a new scheme.

The Singapore Police Force has launched the Volunteer Special Constabulary (Community) officers scheme, where officers will undergo a shorter training duration of seven weeks and be required to perform at least eight hours of patrol duty a month.

This is an alternative to the regular Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC) scheme, which requires officers to undergo six months of training, with a minimum of 16 hours of patrol duty per month.

On Friday (April 13), the scheme's inaugural batch of more than 30 officers who had completed their training attended the graduation ceremony. Also present at the event at the Police Cantonment Complex was Mr Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health.

The graduating officers, consisting of the scheme's first and second intakes, started their training - consisting of thrice weekly sessions for seven weeks, in February this year.

During these sessions, the volunteers honed their skills in areas such as first aid, police procedures and defence tactics.

Speaking at the ceremony, VSC commander  Poh Lye Hin highlighted how the scheme was conceived with the objective of "providing a stronger police presence in areas with high human traffic".

The new VSC (Community) officers will now be deployed to various neighbourhood police posts in all six police divisions to carry out patrols alongside regular police officers.

The volunteer officers from this graduating class will begin their duties by the end of this month. They will be wearing a new uniform of a blue polo T-shirt and black cargo pants.

Unlike regular police and VSC officers, the VSC (Community) officers will not carry firearms, but will still have arrest powers and carry batons, handcuffs and communication sets.

Among the graduating officers at Friday's ceremony were retiree Goh How Phuang, 53, and his wife Yvonne, 52, who have been married for 25 years.

"It has really spiced up my life, that I can serve the community outside of my family while managing my work at home as well," said Mrs Goh, a stay-at-home mum to their two teenage sons.

The couple had decided to sign up to try a new experience together and pick up a new set of skills at a level of commitment they find manageable.

"Training was fun, and I began to look forward to every session," she said with a smile. "It really wasn't a chore at all."

Correction note: An earlier version of this article referred to the Volunteer Special Constabulary scheme as the Voluntary Special Constabulary scheme. We are sorry for the error.