This year’s Police Day Parade (PDP) marks many firsts.
For Sergeant (Sgt) Siti Nursiah, landing the honor of being the first female police officer to ride a Class 2 bike and leading the convoy of police vehicles for PDP was something the 25-year-old never thought would happen to her.
This was on top of getting to ride the white XJ 900P Yamaha police bike as a Traffic Police officer—Sgt Siti’s dream bike since attaining her motorbike license.
“I actually had a nightmare that my bike stalled during the Parade, which really scared me! But our rehearsals went well, so I shall not stress myself too much,” shared the petite officer who led the convoy of troops with much gusto during the Parade.
“Also, I’m now more confident after finding out that the OC of the SPF Training Command is female too. I’m proud to showcase women in the Police Force as well,” Sgt Siti continued.
Her ambition to join the Police Force was sparked from a young age.
“My first memory of the Traffic Police was when I was really young and my dad was driving a lorry that was overloaded with passengers; and there they were,” recounted Sgt Siti.
“They stood out because while they kept the roads safe as part of the Singapore Police Force, they were dressed in white (instead of blue).”
As a child, Sgt Siti had personally witnessed one too many road accidents. Yet, it did not deter her passion for riding.
Today, the TP Patrol unit officer rides her own Class 2 bike, but unlike most bikers, she counts roadblocks as a very fulfilling duty to perform as a TP officer.
Sg Siti explained: “Whenever we manage to catch drivers who have been drinking, there’s this sense of relief and accomplishment in catching them before any accident really happens.”
“Now, as a TP officer, I also take the opportunity to educate younger riders because they tend to be very adventurous and overlook their own safety the moment they obtain their bike license.”
Despite being in the Police Force for only three years, the Police pledge recited during PDP was most prominent for Sgt Siti.
“There’s this sense of belonging when we recite the Police pledge together…what also stirs me up is the part about courage, loyalty, integrity and fairness which makes me remember the need to carry out our jobs by those values.”
At every Police Day Parade, SPF officers would recite the Police pledge to publicly dedicate themselves to the service of the nation. Despite it being a yearly tradition, it never fails to spark off fresh thoughts and emotions in every officer present.
“As the Commissioner of PoIice leads us all in the pledge, it stirs up a lot of emotions among us officers,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC) Lee Su Peng, Deputy Commander of the Police Coast Guards (PCG).
“I feel proud to be part of the Police Force... and the pledge makes us reflect on what we’ve done as police officers, and whether we’ve lived by what we’ve pledged, and how to inspire others to do so as well.”
2012’s Police Day Parade marks DAC Lee’s first time as Parade Commander for PDP.
With more than 500 officers involved in the PDP—the biggest Police ceremony every year—it took about two months of solid practice to get everyone in sync, shared DAC Lee, who was really grateful to everyone involved for putting in their best effort.
Prior to his time at PCG, DAC Lee had just completed his Masters degree of Public Management at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy under the SPF scholarship, and spent the previous two years at the Joint Counter-Terrorism Centre, in assistance to Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s role as Co-ordinating Minister for National Security.
“My wife has been very supportive of my chosen career path as a police officer, and has been looking forward to attending the parade to witness my rededication to the Force,” said DAC Lee, who has 16 years of police service under his belt.
Of course, DAC Lee’s spouse was not the only one excited about this year’s Police Day Parade.
In fact, it was no surprise that Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (DAC) Melvin Yong, Commander of Clementi Police Division, and the officers in his division were even more hyped up, given that their division had set a record in winning the most prestigious Best Land Division award for the seventh time.
First introduced in 1996, the Best Land Division Competition (BLDC) aims to bring about a culture of healthy competition, greater divisional espirit-de-corps and a heightened sense of mission-mindedness.
Each division’s performance is evaluated and assessed based on the three areas of crime prevention, investigation and professionalism—basic indicators of a Land Division’s effectiveness in carrying out its core mission.
Clementi Police division’s notable anti-crime efforts saw a significant drop in overall crime rate by almost 10 per cent, and at least a 30 per cent drop in loanshark harassment cases for the financial year of 2011.
Also known as Delta Division, the Clementi Police Division launched the Delta League in June 2011, a youth engagement programme where more than 1,000 youths have participated in competitive football matches, served as crime prevention ambassadors and contributed back to the community through various activities.
“The Delta League has been well received by our youths… the increased interactions between the youths and our police officers through this project have also loosened their inhibition and created a new bonding and level of trust,” said DAC Yong.
The recently held Delta Gala Appreciation Night and “Say ‘No’ to Gangs” video competition at St. James Powerhouse on 17 June 2012 bore testament to Delta League’s unceasing efforts to reach out to the community.
The Delta Citizenry was also launched in August 2010, with more than 600 Clementi residents signed up as members of the community policing project to conduct regular anti-crime patrols and spread crime prevention advisories.
“It is only when we work closely with our community that our efforts can be multiplied exponentially… a significant milestone in community policing history was recorded in November 2011 when the volunteers formed an Executive Committee to manage their activities, with Police serving as a facilitator.”
“I attribute our success to three key factors—the positive Attitude of our individual officers, the strong team Cohesion within the division and the well-established deep-rooted Engagement with the community. The ‘ACE’ is our trump card,” revealed DAC Yong.
Their trump card was certainly effective; the Delta division won the Best Voluntary Special Constabulary (VSC) Unit Award as well.
The Delta espirit-de-corps clearly in the house, a good number of at least 50 Delta officers erupted in the loudest cheers with huge neon ‘Delta’ placards when DAC Yong received the Best Land Division Award from Guest-of-Honour Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran.
The other two prestigious awards given out at the PDP were the Best Key Installation (KINS) Division and the Best Police National Service (PNS) Land Division, won by the Airport KINS and Tanglin Police Division respectively.
The Tanglin Police Division had achieved the impressive hat-trick as the only division to be crowned the Best PNS Land Division for the past three consecutive years; it has won the award for a total of eight times.
With so much happening at every Police Day Parade, it is no wonder that the grand stands are always full with supportive family members and guests every year.
“I feel quite inspired by the Police—how they are very disciplined and well-trained in what they do as the security force of Singapore” said Mr Jeremy Tok, 22.
The National Service man was at the parade to support his friend Sgt Leona Ng, who was part of the Combined Land Division marching contingent.
He said: “I really enjoyed the parade, especially the drive past by the Police vehicles… which I felt was a bit short, and I look forward to coming again.”
For spectator Ms Norashikin Binte Abu Hussain, the PDP is a yearly affair for her and her family, and this is not only because she is married to the Guard-of-Honour trainer Senior Staff Sergeant (SSSgt) Abdul Majid.
“My kids love watching parades, and so do I! It’s been in my blood since I marched in band parades in secondary school,” shared the 37-year-old mother of five.
Her husband, SSSgt Majid trained the marching contingent for the PDP.
He is also Chief trainer for the SPF Marching contingent for the National Day Parade and has been a field instructor since 2007.
“If my kids are not able to come, I will have to record the parade and they will watch it at least three times a day,” said SSSgt Majid, whose two sons, aged 2 and 4, attended the parade with their mother.
Although parades are a regular affair for the Chief trainer, SSSgt Majid and his family were already excited about the next PDP.
Judging from the crowd’s reception, they will not be the only ones.