When he was young, he never thought of becoming a police officer, says Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Wong Keng Hoe, 28.
“My only impression of the police was based on TV shows and movies,” he recalls.
It was only after he won a Singapore Police Force (SPF) Book Prize in junior college (JC) in 2008 that he found his calling.
The prize was awarded to outstanding JC2 students in recognition of their excellent academic and co-curricular activity achievements, and the
rewards included visits to various Police and Home Team units.
DSP Wong says: “During the visits, I learnt about the seedier underbelly of our country and was particularly impressed with the dedication of SPF
officers in maintaining Singapore’s high standards of safety and security.
“I decided that few careers would offer as much meaning and challenge as the SPF and applied for the scholarship after that.”
Honing multi-disciplinary skills
With the SPF Scholarship (SPFS), he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Chicago and a Master of Science in perations
Research from Columbia University.
He chose to study economics and statistics as he could foresee the applications of data analytics in the SPF, especially in optimising routes for police patrols and in predictive policing.
After graduating in 2013, he began his training at the Home Team Academy before being posted to Tanglin Division as a patrol officer and Investigation Officer (IO) to learn the ropes.
Two years later, he served as a staff officer in the SPF Operations Department, helping to develop policies on the use of force and the equipping of ground officers.
Currently, he is the Commanding Officer of Marine Parade Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), where he leads a team of about 100 officers to ensure the safety and security of the residents.
“My duties include deploying patrol officers on the ground, investigating crimes and working with the community to develop preventive measures.
“I am also responsible for leading joint operationsand managing sensitive incidents within the jurisdiction,” DSP Wong explains.
Adding a human touch
In the course of his career, DSP Wong discovered that the role of the Police was not just about putting criminals behind bars.
He recalls: “A very significant case I experienced as an IO was dealing with the accidental drowning of a foreign worker along Clarke Quay.”
“Through the investigations, I discovered that the worker had only recently started working in Singapore to seek a better life for his family and
newborn son back home.
“The news of his drowning devastated his family. After the investigations were completed, I worked with his country’s embassy for his family members to travel here and take his body home.”
The incident taught him that the police also play an important role in providing closure and solace to families and victims.
Although police officers have the challenging duty of being on call for urgent incidents at any time, DSP Wong is motivated by the tangible impact
of the SPF’s work on the community, and the camaraderie among his team.
“For me, the meaning and satisfaction of bringing a perpetrator to justice or saving a life is unrivalled. The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others is very important to me.
“Our officers also have strong camaraderie and genuine concern for each other, which have been vital in pulling through long operations and
deployments together,” he says.