Meet ASP Tan Yu Ting, an OC Troop in the ProCom’s elite IRT counterterrorism unit, and one of only two female IRT officers!
By: Domnic Dass
The Protective Security Command (ProCom) of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) was established in 2016 to enhance the SPF’s protective security capabilities by tapping on the readiness of Full-time Police National Service (PNSF) officers.
With their intensive training and specialised tactical knowledge and skills, ProCom’s elite In-Situ Reaction Team (IRT) officers work tirelessly to ensure public safety and security. Police Life accompanied ASP Tan, an Officer-in-Charge (OC) Troop for the IRT, for her full-day shift to learn more!
When did you join the Force?
I joined the SPF in 2017 and, after I’d completed my Senior Officer Basic Course at the Home Team Academy, I was attached to Nanyang Neighbourhood Police Centre. After that, I served as an Investigation Officer at Jurong Division for two years before joining ProCom as an OC Troop in January 2021.
What are the selection and training requirements for IRT officers?
ProCom officers must complete a five-week Protective Security Basic Course that equips us with the necessary capabilities to execute ProCom’s operational functions. After that, a small group of officers is selected to undergo the IRT course, which is an intensive training programme that aims to improve tactical knowledge, urban combat techniques and weapon handling proficiency.
What are your responsibilities as an OC Troop?
I assist my OC Unit in ensuring the overall efficient operation of the unit, and forward plan the officers’ deployment as well as training. I closely monitor and review the officers’ performance, training and development of the regular officers and PNSFs in my troop.
During my shift, I supervise the resources on the ground and guide them on operational issues. If an incident occurs, I take charge and ensure swift responses and proper incident management to settle the issue or prevent further escalation.
What do you look out for when you’re on patrol?
The IRT's role is to deter, detect and respond to any public security incidents within our area of operations. We perform patrols at designated locations with high footfall to keep Singapore safe and secure. We also maintain vigilance and look out for suspicious activity or behaviour that might pose potential threats to public safety and security.
What are some of the challenges you face on patrol?
Everyone has a role to play in counterterrorism and we need the community and members of the public to be our eyes and ears, and to report any suspicious occurrences. These can be crucial in locating, neutralising or containing threats to public security.
Often, when we patrol, there’ll be kids or parents who greet us. It’s these small moments that keep us going.
What do you want to say to other female officers who are keen to join specialised units such as the IRT?
Policing requires not only physical strength but also mental and emotional fortitude. Don't underestimate your capabilities. Always aim high. We can all bring a unique perspective and contribute to the team!