SINGAPORE: Twenty officers of the inaugural Emergency Response Teams were commissioned at the Police Day Parade on Friday (Jun 3). They are part of the Singapore Police Force's efforts to combat terrorism, in light of security-related incidents in Jakarta and Paris.
One of the officers is Inspector Paige Lee. As a child, she witnessed first-hand how police officers stepped in to prevent a dispute from escalating in her friend's family. The incident inspired the political science major to join the force.
The 25-year-old is now deployed to lead a team of officers equipped to deal with terrorist attacks. And her training was no different from her male counterparts. Inspector Lee, the leader of the Emergency Response Team at Tanglin Division, said: “There were no discounts. We were expected to do what the male colleagues of mine were expected to do. We are expected to carry the same load, run the same amount of distances and perform any tactical training (in) exactly the same (way)."
Inspectors James Wong and Paige Lee. (Photo: Sara Grosse)
The teams undergo simulated training to learn how to respond quickly to high-risk threats such as knife attacks or hostage situations. Said Inspector James Wong, leader of Clementi Division’s Emergency Response Team: "We are also required to think on our feet very quickly because as the situation develops, as things go, we have to think on our feet and react according to whatever they throw at us."
Both officers said that initially family members were concerned for their safety, but they re-assured their families that the training had prepared them for the job.
The 20 officers were presented with their badges at the Police Day Parade. Awards were also given to the most outstanding police land divisions. Bedok Division won the Best Land Division, while Clementi Division won the Best National Service Operationally Ready Unit.