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Working behind the scenes

Safety and public order are sometimes taken for granted in Singapore.

But we have the Singapore Police Force (SPF) Central Police Division Head of Operations Xie Xingmao and his team to thank for working tirelessly behind the scenes as they continue to keep our streets safe and secure.

“The Central Police Division has a diverse terrain presenting both public order and public security challenges,” says Superintendent of Police (SUPT) Xie, who also handles the Emergency Response Team and Warrant Enforcement Unit, in addition to the Compliance Management Unit, the Crime Control Unit and the Operations Planning team.

The Central Police Division is responsible for the security at various locations of interest — important government buildings such as Parliament House, State and Supreme Courts; and popular meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions venues such as Suntec City Convention Centre and Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

The division also manages public entertainment belts, works with other agencies to maintain order at foreign worker congregation nodes such as Little India and Little Thailand, and oversees events held other locations such as the Speakers’ Corner, the F1 Pit Building and The Promontory at Marina Bay.

Given the unique terrain, the division has planned and provided security coverage for a number of major deployments during events such as Thaipusam, Chinese New Year Eve Countdown, Chingay, National Day Parade rehearsals, Asean Summit and the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown.

SUPT Xie, 32, received the Singapore Police Force Scholarship in 2005 and obtained a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering with first class honours from Imperial College London in the United Kingdom.

During his summer breaks, he did internships and attachments arranged by the SPF to expose himself to the workings of the various units and to keep himself current with the developments within the Force.

Since he returned to active duty in 2009, SPF has provided him with professional, leadership and personal development opportunities in various roles. This included his stints as Investigation Officer, Neighbourhood Police Centre Team Leader, Commanding Officer, as well as his involvement in intelligence work and peacekeeping missions in Timor-Leste.

He was also posted to the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with immigration related policies such as the amendments to the National Registration Act for the collection of iris images as well as the NRIC re-registration at age 55.

Says the father of two boys: “Homeland security plays a vital role in the overall attractiveness of a country. Being able to contribute to the safety and security of Singapore keeps me going.”