A visit to Geylang Neighbourhood Police Centre in 2009 after he graduated from Raffles Junior College was an eye-opening experience for Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jonathan Au Yong Kok Kong. After he saw how the police fought crime on the ground, the nature of the job appealed to him, as it would take him from behind the desk and onto the streets. So he applied for The Singapore Police Force Scholarship (SPFS). Getting the scholarship was a dream come true for DSP Au Yong, who grew up reading detective stories and crime novels. DSP Au Yong graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs from Yale University in the United States in 2013. “The scholarship gave my family financial reprieve and allowed me to fulfil my dream of attending one of the top global universities,” he says. The SPF Scholarship covers tuition fees, and provides scholars with an allowance for books, computers, warm clothing, food and lodging. Scholars are also paid a salary for the duration of their studies.
Today, the 28-year-old SPF and President’s Scholar is Deputy Head of the Special Investigation Section of the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) Major Crime Division.
Armed and ready
Policing work is tough but extremely rewarding, says DSP Au Yong, who is currently serving a six year bond with the SPF. He says: “My branch investigates the gravest offences committed in Singapore, such as homicide, kidnapping and firearms offences, and is responsible for putting away the most dangerous criminals. “My schedule is unpredictable as I am activated whenever a major crime has been reported.” Investigating a crime includes canvassing a bloody scene for forensic leads, going door to door to identify potential eyewitnesses, consoling the grieving family member of a murder victim, or watching terabytes worth of closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage to trace the whereabouts of a suspect. “After the culprit is arrested, I need to prepare the case for prosecution by meeting with prosecutors from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, or reviewing forensic evidence with a forensic pathologist from the Health Sciences Authority,” he says. DSP Au Yong renders help when a crime has been committed — a commitment he does not take for granted. “Very few people are given the chance to speak for the dead,” he says. “Through my work, I seek the truth on behalf of the deceased, give closure to their loved ones and bring perpetrators to justice.”