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  • I-Witness
Published 18 February 2024
5-min Read
Police Life 022024 Her Police Story Seize the Day with Insp Stephanie Wong 00
PHOTOS: SPF, Insp Stephanie Wong. GRAPHIC: Daenia Lim

Insp Stephanie Wong shares her most memorable posting, the hardest part of policing, and her heartfelt advice to women who aspire to become officers!

By: Christabelle Lim

Tell us about your policing journey.

I joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in October 2008 as a 19-year-old! From 2008 to 2012, I was a Ground Response Force (GRF) Officer at Ang Mo Kio North Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC). From 2013 to 2019, I had two staff postings at Ang Mo Kio Police Division, as a Training Officer and later as an Assistant Operations and Planning Officer.

From 2016 to 2018, I also underwent the LEAP Programme, which is designed for junior officers who aspire to be leaders in the SPF. During the three-year programme, I had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through various work attachments and was exposed to management-level responsibilities.

Police Life 022024 Her Police Story Seize the Day with Insp Stephanie Wong 01
Insp Wong (third from left) as a trainee doing marching drills. PHOTO: Insp Stephanie Wong

The experiences I gained were immensely beneficial when I was selected as an Acting Inspector (Insp) candidate in 2019. After completing the Senior Officer Basic Course in 2020, I was posted to Ang Mo Kio Police Division as an Investigation Officer (IO). Since 2023, I’ve been serving as a Team Leader at Yishun North NPC.

That’s a 15-year career, and you’re still as enthusiastic as ever! Did you always want to be a Police officer, and is policing all you imagined it to be?

Joining the SPF was my lifelong ambition. The seed was sown in my younger days when I was a member of the National Police Cadet Corps, and from watching Crimewatch and Police dramas!

As a young officer, I didn’t always know what to expect. It was challenging when I had to attend to cases involving the loss of life. Thankfully, I always had good seniors and supervisors that I could turn to.

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Insp Wong (first row, first from right) and her fellow officers in Nepal during the Experiential Leadership Training component of the Senior Officer Basic Course. PHOTO: Insp Stephanie Wong

Did the notion of a “male-dominated” vocation deter you?

We all serve in blue and even though the SPF has more male officers than female officers, I’ve never felt that this hindered my chances for career progression. In fact, I’ve met many inspirational leaders in the Force, both men and women, who’ve empowered me in my 15-year career. Through these interactions, I’ve come to realise that I just need to be myself!

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I just need to be myself! - Insp Stephanie Wong

What do you think is the hardest part of policing, and how did you overcome this challenge?

It’s the emotional toll that comes from being exposed to traumatic, high-stress events and crime scenes, especially during the three years I served as an IO at Ang Mo Kio Police Division. I recall an incident that occurred in public that was recorded by 28 different people. As part of our investigations, I had to locate and collect all 28 videos as evidence within the first six hours of the incident! This was just one example from one incident on one tour of duty, and what got us through was our strong sense of teamwork.

Which posting has had the most impact on you?

It would be my current posting as a GRF Team Leader at Yishun North NPC. The GRF serves as the foundational assignment for newly minted officers. Navigating the challenges of frontline policing for the first time, these officers also have to meet the expectations and standards set by their more seasoned colleagues. I know this because I’ve been there before myself as a 19-year-old!

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Insp Wong with her colleague as they prepare to begin their GRF shift. PHOTO: Insp Stephanie Wong

As their Team Leader, it’s my responsibility to enhance their morale, build their resilience and help them develop crucial policing skills. The responsibility of overseeing an entire team under my care can weigh heavy on me. Each team member has his or her own unique characteristics and there is no universal coaching approach; I have to relate to each officer differently. This gives me the opportunity to find and hone my own leadership style, and ultimately, to grow alongside my officers.

Have your aspirations in the Force changed from when you first joined as a junior officer to your current role as a senior officer?

When I first joined the SPF, it was to fulfil my childhood dream. I was given many opportunities to grow and learn, and I seized them to challenge and upgrade myself. From planning staff welfare events for my team, I’ve progressed to managing security deployments for major national events

Each posting was an eye-opening experience. After my stint as Assistant Operations and Planning Officer, I wanted to be an Operations Officer. After my posting as an IO, I fell in love with investigative work! This shows that the SPF offers a varied and multifaceted career, and I’m excited to continue discovering and developing my strengths!

What would you say to young women who want to become Police officers?

Embarking on a law enforcement career is a commendable and rewarding journey. If you dream of becoming a Police officer, I have four statements of encouragement for you:

Believe in yourself. We have the strength, intelligence and resilience to strive for work excellence and personal happiness.

Stay true to our SPF core values of Courage, Loyalty, Integrity and Fairness. Policing requires individuals with a strong moral compass to guide our decisions and actions.

Remember, you have the potential to make a positive impact. Pursue your dreams with determination and know that your contributions matter!

Be yourself, be proud to be a woman and be even prouder to be a female Police officer!

Her Police Story

“Seize the Day with Insp Stephanie Wong” is part of the Women in Policing series, which will feature six female officers and their journey in the SPF. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Women in Policing this year, we honour the contributions of women in the Force and pay tribute to the pioneers who paved the way.

Read "Sisters, Mums and Ma'ams", "Out at Sea with SSSgt Khairina", "Investigating with DSP Sindhu" and "Leading with Impact with AC Serene Chiu" next!

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