The retirement age for Home Affairs uniformed officers such as the police will be increased gradually to 58 by 2030, up from 55 currently.
The move would allow the Ministry of Home Affairs to tap the experience of more mature officers and help officers secure a meaningful second career after their retirement, Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam told Parliament yesterday, during the debate on his ministry’s budget.
Heavy investment is necessary to enhance the capabilities of officers, to ensure the Home Team remains effective and operational in a changing environment, he said.
“We work with our partners to encourage our officers to engage in continuous learning and upskilling, just like the rest of society, from recruitment to retirement,” said Mr Shanmugam.
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He noted that this year is a particularly important year for the police force, which celebrates 200 years of policing in Singapore. The police force was formed in 1820, when Singapore was still a booming immigrant town with its fair share of social ills, such as piracy, secret societies and riots. There was an urgent need for law and order, and the first police force started with just 12 officers, Straits Times reports.
“We have seen the whole team grow from strength to strength,” said Mr Shanmugam, highlighting key achievements such as the formation of the Riot Squad and the establishment of the police hotline after the Second World War.
The police took on a greater role in safeguarding society after Singapore’s independence, he noted. And when the first neighbourhood police post was established in 1983, the police officer’s image was transformed.
Police officers were not just seen as enforcers of the law, but were also viewed as members of the community who were helping people, he added.
“(The Singapore Police Force) is a highly capable, professional police force and is highly regarded. I think our SPF officers deserve our recognition and appreciation for their professionalism, their readiness and their sacrifice over the years,” said Mr Shanmugam.
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