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Auxiliary police officers have to undergo stringent selection process

Armed guards in Singapore come from Certis Cisco, Aetos or the Singapore Airport Terminal Services Security Services.

These Auxiliary police officers (APOs) have similar powers, privileges and immunities to police officers when they are on official duty.

Like police officers, they carry warrant cards and are subjected to disciplinary proceedings if they fail in their duties. Their rank structure and training are also similar to those of the police.

Those who are interested in becoming APOs must not have criminal records and must have at least three N-level credits. They go through a stringent selection process. This incudes being screened to ensure that they are medically and mentally fit.

Certis Cisco has about 3,200 APOs in charge of safeguarding government and commercial buildings while ensuring security.

Of this number, close to 200 APOs are in charge of escorting cash and valuables for numerous banks and retailers.

They can request to be placed there or be deployed to perform this task.

PSYCH TEST

Mr Richard Lau, senior vice-president of Certis Cisco group marketing and corporate communications, said: "During the interview and assessment by our recruiters, candidates are to declare their medical history.

"In addition, they are sent for a psychological test to determine their mental state before they commence their training."

He added that there is a team of 28 para-counsellors whom officers can approach for help in matters such as work stress and financial problems.

Candidates are required to attend eight weeks of mandatory training before being shortlisted, then recruited.

During the training, they go through modules which teach them unarmed tactics and how to handle firearms. They are assessed on the modules before being recruited. Those who fail are not hired.

On the job, they are equipped with a firearm, baton and plastic handcuffs.

Certis Cisco's armed escort service can be contracted on an hourly basis. Typically, each trip costs $100 or more, but rates vary based on the frequency, location and the volume of cash to be escorted.