SINGAPORE: A new centre with smart surveillance systems and virtual reality training facilities was officially opened by Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam at the Home Team Academy at Old Choa Chu Kang Road on Monday (Oct 17).
The centre is split into two areas - each the size of a four-room flat. It boasts data analytics technology to equip Home Team officers with more information to perform their duties more efficiently.
The Home Team includes the police, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Singapore Prisons Service and the Central Narcotics Bureau.
This aggressive push towards technology is part of plans being rolled out under the Home Team Transformation 2025 roadmap.
Detecting suspicious behaviour, activities or even a potential terrorist threat can now be done more efficiently with the new surveillance system. This is through the analysis of images picked up by CCTV cameras when a suspicious person is identified.
Dr Naresh Kumar, head of the Home Affairs Ministry's Office of the Chief Science and Technology Officer, said: "If I were told that there's a red bag with a particular logo that looks suspicious at a corner - where is it exactly? Having analytics will tell me where it is and how it looks, or what time it was placed there or who brought it there. So the analytics will capture all that information and bring that to the operator instantly."
Mr Shanmugam said the centre will also look at how to better customise the uniforms of firefighters and police officers.
"It focuses on the kind of body types of officers so that uniforms can be better customised – (looking at) the kind of factors you can put in to reduce stress and load bearing that our officers have to manage,” the minister said. “For example, when SCDF officers have to go into a building that's damaged, what kind of equipment they carry, how they can put in extra items that reduce the load. So it's a variety of things. It's on the path of making officers highly skilled and even better equipped to deal with the situation and staying ahead of the challenges."
The centre also has a dedicated suite to monitor officer’s fitness levels and cognitive abilities to ensure they are always on top of their game. Officers can also practise their manoeuvring skills such as controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle with the virtual reality simulations.