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Home / People / Volunteers / Home Team Volunteers Network visits Tuas Checkpoint  
Published: 14 Jun 2012 09:52AM (Singapore)
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Home Team Volunteers Network visits Tuas Checkpoint
Checkpoint operation is a whole lot more than just “chopping passports”. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) is responsible for the security of Singapore's borders against the entry of undesirable persons, cargo and conveyances. Home Team Volunteers were at Tuas Checkpoint to find out more.
By Hazwani Mohamed , Shahidah Sayadi
ICA Specialist Sergeant Neo Eck Thiam demonstrating the portable handheld detector that detects threats from explosives. PHOTO: Jessica Shen

This handheld gadget may look like a mini vacuum cleaner but it can instantaneously detect threats from explosives, chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals or narcotics simply through vapour and particle sampling.

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s (ICA) officers are trained to use numerous types of handheld devices like this one.

These devices allow them to carry out non-intrusive inspections and the gadgets alert them instantly of materials of security concern.

ICA’s technological arsenal helps the guardian of Singapore’s gateways ensure that the movement of people, goods and conveyances through the checkpoints is legitimate and lawful.

The devices are among the various gadgets showcased to some 100 Home Team Volunteers during their visit to Tuas Checkpoint on 12 May 2012.

Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Chairman of the Home Team Volunteers Network (HTVN) and former Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Law, was the visit’s guest-of-honour.

Hosted by Tuas Checkpoint Commander, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Tan Hang Tjong, volunteers caught a glimpse of the checkpoint’s daily operations and they learnt how ICA leverages on science and technology to strengthen identification and border security functions.

Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) counsellor, Mr Sulinder Singh, 50, found the visit insightful.

“You get to see behind the scenes. If they don’t carry out these measures, security is at stake. So we must appreciate that part,” said Mr Sulinder.

The Tuas Checkpoint Commander added that travelers’ first impression of the country weighs heavily on their confidence in the level of security and control as well as the service provided at the checkpoints.

As such, ICA officers must adopt a “security-focused, service conscious” mindset in today’s global world.

Speaking at the opening of Home Team Volunteers Network’s (HTVN) Tuas Checkpoint visit, HTVN Chairman Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee said it was important for everyone to actively play a part in Singapore’s safety and security. PHOTO: Jessica Shen

 HTVN Secretariat and Home Affairs Ministry’s Human Resource Executive, Madam Chua Poh Choo, led one of the groups during the visit.

“It (the visit) also provides volunteers with the opportunity to network with each other and understand the work of other Home Team departments beyond the departments they are volunteering with,” she said.

The checkpoint visit is the third in HTVN’s “Walking with the Home Team” series of visits.

Mr Jeffrey Toon, 52, who has been volunteering with the Volunteer Special Constabulary for the past 25 years, said the session was insightful and is keen to visit other Home Team departments.


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