SINGAPORE: An exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore which brings visitors through 200 years of policing in Singapore was officially opened to the public on Thursday (Feb 6).
Showcasing a collection of archival photos, videos and artefacts, some of which date back to 1821, the SPF200 exhibition - Frontier Town to Safest City tells the stories of how officers “exhibited bravery in the face of danger, of bringing criminals to justice, and of duty above self", said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in a press release.
The main exhibition at the National Museum will run till May 17.
There will also be a roving exhibition at the museum’s concourse area till Mar 5, and this will subsequently be staged at public libraries, community clubs and police community roadshows throughout the rest of the year.
The exhibition, which was officially opened by Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam, is part of a year-long series of events to commemorate the 200th year of policing in Singapore.
“This exhibition titled Frontier Town to Safest City, provides an overview of Singapore’s policing journey over two centuries,” said Mr Shanmugam.
“The exhibition pays tribute to police officers, past and present for their sacrifices. The journey is an inspiring one - it holds many lessons both for SPF and for Singapore as a whole.”
Starting off as a 12 man team, the Singapore Police Force is today a highly regarded, highly respected force of 15,000 people, said Mr Shanmugam.
Given challenges during early colonial times, the police officers fought an uphill battle, he added.
“They often put their lives on the line to keep law and order but over time their abilities grew, their capabilities grew."
Later on, as a young nation, Singapore also faced issues such as violent crime and drug abuse, Mr Shanmugam said.
“Facing all these challenges, the government decided to form the police academy in 1969 and expand the recruitment. And in the mid 1970s ... there was tough and effective law enforcement ... and support from the government for effective police law enforcement and through the courts as well.
“The crime rate was brought to the lowest since independence. That underpinned the peace and security that in turn led to Singapore’s growth in the social and economic sectors.”
Along with the police, community partners also are vital in keeping Singapore safe, said the minister.
“There are many examples of our community partners - individuals, grassroots associations, hotels, businesses, public agencies - they continue to play an essential role in keeping Singapore safe together with the police,” he said.
Guided tours for walk-in visitors at the exhibition are available daily at 10.15am and 1.15pm, while groups of between 10 and 12 visitors can book group guided tours.
Such tours will be conducted in English by retired police officers.