Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Joshua Ebenezer Jesudason, 24, had a childhood unlike most other Singaporeans.
He grew up in a remote village in Papua New Guinea where his parents did humanitarian and literacy work among the local people.
“The village was a short plane ride from the nearest town, or in the case of inclement weather, a two-week trek across adverse terrain,” recalls ASP Jesudason, who lived there till he was eight.
These days, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) Investigation Officer (IO) — who was awarded the President’s Scholarship and Singapore Police Force Overseas Scholarship in 2013 — is worlds away from the mountainous province of his boyhood. But he carries the same sense of purpose his parents had.
As an IO at the Central Police Division, ASP Jesudason interviews and takes statements from persons of interest in a case, gathers and examines evidence, and seizes and manages case exhibits. He also prepares legal documents when the cases he handles are to be presented in court and readies himself with the details of the cases as he may be called upon as a prosecution witness during trial.
Before becoming an IO, he was a Ground Response Force officer at Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre where he conducted patrol duties, responded to 999 emergency calls, manned police counters, and took walk-in reports.
During his one-and-a-half years in the Force, he has arrested violent suspects, saved critically-injured persons from vehicle accidents and evacuated residents from burning buildings.
ASP Jesudason, who is passionate about helping, and justice, says: “Situations of injustice rouse me to action, so I am happy to work hard when there is an opportunity to remedy them.”
He admits he did not set out to be a police officer. Back in junior college, he planned to read law and focus on pro-bono work, or to work in a non-governmental organisation.
But his teacher saw his aptitude for debating and his good academic standing, and recommended him for the Public Service Commission and Home Team scholarships. The SPF career centre then invited him to shadow police officers on duty during his school holidays. The experience made ASP Jesudason realise his true calling.
He attended Balliol College, Oxford University from 2013 to 2016 on The Singapore Police Force Scholarship where he read History and Politics. After graduating with first class honours, he then pursued a Master of Science in Conflict Studies (with distinction) at the London School of Economics, to understand the internal dynamics and socio-economic and ideological drivers of extremist groups.
During his summer breaks, ASP Jesudason would return to Singapore once a year for attachments with the SPF. These stints eased him into the SPF ecosystem, and made it easier for him to hit the ground running when he returned to active duty in 2017.
There is always something to learn as a young officer.
Through training at the Police Academy, ASP Jesudason developed his leadership style.
He has since worked on various projects and teams, and taken on leadership roles during daily duties and major police deployments.
“I have improved my people-management and communication skills, and been tested in leadership roles. I have also become a better and more well-rounded person,” he says.
ASP Jesudason relishes taking on the multitude of challenges faced by the SPF, including crimes that are always evolving in its complexity with digital and transnational elements.
He says: “With challenge comes opportunity. I am confident the SPF will continue to evolve to meet the challenges at hand. “I feel privileged to play a part in this nextphase of our Force’s developmental history.