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  • I-Witness
Published 18 March 2024
4-min Read
Police Life 032024 Her Police Story Investigating with DSP Sindhu 01

How being an Investigation Officer led DSP Sindhu Dasan to broaden her world-view and volunteer to help others in the community, including migrant workers!

By: Christabelle Lim

Tell us about your journey as an officer and how you decided to specialise in investigations.
I joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in 2009 and started my investigation journey in Jurong Police Division. This foundation posting moulded me as an officer and investigation Officer (IO). I was blessed to have good mentors and bosses who guided me along as a new officer.

In my 15 months’ posting as an IO, I handled a variety of cases including theft, criminal intimidation, unnatural death and abuse. As a fresh graduate, handling these cases was an eye-opener, and led me to see how else I could make a difference to society.

In my next posting in 2012, I was a Team Leader in Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre. Though I enjoyed the work, I realised that I missed investigations. As an IO, you see a case to its conclusion, while as a frontline officer, your duty often ends when you arrest a subject or hand a scene over to the next officer.

Thus, I joined the Specialised Crime Branch in the Criminal Investigation Department in 2013, where I worked on cases dealing with trafficking-in-persons (TIP) and vice. I also had the opportunity to attend trainings overseas for investigations into TIP cases. Seeing this issue from an international perspective made me appreciate its complexity and further inspired me to investigate such cases.

My knowledge of TIP investigations also complemented my next posting in 2017, which was in the Joint Operations Group of the Ministry of Home Affairs. I was part of the Singapore delegation that attended conferences to discuss TIP-related policy matters.

After that, I was posted to the Home Team School of Criminal Investigation in 2020 as a Trainer before taking a study break to pursue my Master’s in Criminology.

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DSP Sindhu (left) decided that she wanted to specialise in investigations! PHOTO: DSP Sindhu Dasan

When I returned to work in 2023, I knew that I wanted to go back to investigations, which I found the most fulfilling and enjoyable! I’m proud to be part of the Anti-Scam Command in the Commercial Affairs Department now, contributing to the fight against scams!

That’s quite a journey! Besides being an IO, what other roles do you play in the SPF?
I’m a member of the Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU) and am trained to respond to critical events such as hostage incidents, barricade incidents and attempted suicides. I’m also an SPF Paracounsellor, serving as a first point-of-contact for fellow officers who need support.

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DSP Sindhu and her fellow CNU teammates activated to a case. PHOTO: DSP Sindhu Dasan
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“When they open the door for us to come in, that’s when it’s the most fulfilling!” – DSP Sindhu

The soft skills I’ve learnt from my appointments as a CNU officer and Paracounsellor are highly applicable to policing, and even in my daily life – they’ve made me a better officer and person.

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DSP Sindhu on FAST deployment at a dormitory in 2020. PHOTO: DSP Sindhu Dasan

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I was also deployed to dormitories at Sungei Tengah as a Forward Assurance and Support Team (FAST) officer, where I was able to communicate with the migrant workers in my mother tongue of Tamil. After this experience, I decided to volunteer with several non-profit organisations such as ItsRainingRaincoats to teach English to migrant workers.

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DSP Sindhu with her fellow Crimewatch hosts Assistant Superintendent of Police Azlinda Aziz and Superintendent Madeline Low in 2017. PHOTO: DSP Sindhu Dasan

How have these experiences shaped your work as a Police officer?
They’ve made me more compassionate and understanding. As officers, we meet many members of the public in the course of our work, whereas most people usually have only one or two encounters with the Police. Small things that we do, like how we engage with or reassure victims and complainants, can mean a great deal to them. That’s why I always try to empathise with others and see things from their point of view.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Women in Policing, what are your hopes for women in the SPF?
From the first batch of female officers who joined the SPF in 1949 to having our first female Deputy Commissioner of Police, Florence Chua, in 2018, we’ve made significant progress over the decades. Female officers now take on diverse roles in the SPF. I truly respect the pioneering generation of female officers who took the first step to pave the way for those who followed them. I hope to see more female leaders in the Force in the near future!

Her Police Story
“Investigating with DSP Sindhu” 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" and “Seize the Day with Insp Stephanie Wong”, “Out at Sea with SSSgt Khairina” and "Leading with Impact with AC Serene Chiu" next!

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