New troop to shore up public order operations
If another riot were to break out here, the police would be better equipped to handle it.
This is because of the new police national servicemen Public Order (PNSmen PO) Troop.
They will be made up of police national service officers (PNSF) who serve with the Special Operations Command (SOC).
During the recent Police Workplan Seminar 2017, Minister for Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam announced the deployment of the new public order troops.
The first batch of these troops comes from the 163rd police national service intake. There will be 40 men in a troop, and they will supplement the existing SOC unit during operations.
These include major security events, such as National Day and emergencies similar to the Little India riot.
They will also perform anti-crime patrols when recalled for their operationally-ready national service - formerly called reservist duties.
The PNSmen PO Troop will be armed with firearms and less lethal weapons to handle a public order situation.
They will also be equipped with a public order helmet, arm and shin protectors, fire retardant attire, gloves, public order boots and tactical shield.
The first PNSmen PO Troop will be formed by September next year, with full implementation by 2023.
At the Home Team Tactical Centre yesterday, The New Paper witnessed what current SOC officers are capable of. They carried out a public order drill where officers dispersed aggressive groups, and a fire confidence drill where petroleum bags, simulating Molotov cocktails, were thrown at them.
Special Constabulary Sergeant Muhammad Khairul Shafeeq, 20, a PNSF serving with the SOC, said: "My own safety is a concern but it is my job, and I am confident the training has prepared me enough to combat the threat of terrorism."