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In pursuit of justice

What inspired you to apply for the Singapore Police Force (SPF) Scholarship?

DSP Justin Ong: I considered applying for the SPF Scholarship when I was studying at Raffles Junior College. I had the opportunity to be exposed to police work through several roadshows and engagement programmes, and quickly realised that this was a career that I would enjoy for the rest of my life. I applied for the SPF Scholarship in 2009.

What are your primary duties as Chief Investigation Officer in the Bedok Division?

DSP Ong: I oversee the operations and supervise four teams of about 10 officers each, who investigate various crimes and police reports within the jurisdiction of Bedok Division. These can range from theft to unnatural death. I also constantly review our operational processes to ensure that the team maintains its effectiveness in a constantly changing environment.

What are the necessary qualities that one needs to excel in police work?

DSP Ong: A police officer needs to be tenacious and inquisitive, and these qualities can be developed. I would say that I had a strong inclination towards police work, which was further honed through my work and my nurturing supervisors. Over my eight years with SPF, I have been given tasks and responsibilities that enabled my learning and career development. These tasks were carefully selected by my supervisors based on their assessment of my learning needs and areas for development.

What has been your career path with SPF been like?

DSP Ong: After graduation, I served as an Investigation Officer in the Bedok Division before taking on the role as a Deputy Team Leader at the Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre, where I oversaw patrol operations.

After one year, I moved to the Criminal Investigation Department, where I was an operations officer for one year, before joining the Serious Sexual Crime Branch in 2015 as an investigation officer.

In 2016, I was given the opportunity to serve as a Singapore delegate at the United Nations General Assembly based in New York, handling negotiations in human rights issues.

I joined Bedok Division as its Chief Investigation Officer last year.

What have been the highlights of your career with SPF so far?

DSP Ong: I enjoy the adrenaline rush when I manage to solve a case. One highlight was tracking down a child sexual predator in 2016. My team worked round the clock for about three days. The case was challenging and we had limited leads, but our perseverance paid off when we finally managed to apprehend the culprit.

Another highlight was the Western Union robbery last year. There was a similar lack of evidence to identify the culprit. It took a lot of perseverance and determination to overcome the difficulties we faced.