Supt Ong reviews policies in his role as Senior Assistant Director (Investigation & Enforcement Policy) at Joint Operations Group, Ministry of Home Affairs. He is a recipient of the Singapore Police Force Scholarship and he holds a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) from the University of College London.
Singapore is widely regarded as one of the safest cities in the world, with crime rates being kept low year after year. Credit surely has to be given to the Singapore Police Force (SPF) for their hard work and diligence.
The SPF's mission is to prevent, deter and detect crime to ensure the safety and security of Singapore. In order to do that, SPF focuses on five broad areas of police work - Frontline Policing, Counter and E-services, Investigation, Community Engagement and Public Security and Order.
Superintendent of Police (Supt) Ong Wei An, Justin, has contributed in significant ways during his many rotations among the divisions. With extensive operational experience under his belt, he is well-equipped for his current role as Senior Assistant Director (Investigation & Enforcement Policy) at the Joint Operations Group of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
A Single-Minded Dedication
When Supt Ong was considering his options in junior college, he found out more about the ethos of the SPF and its law enforcement work while he was going through the SPF scholarship application process and was immediately drawn to it. It was there where he decided that he wanted to embark on a career with the SPF.”
“I found the work very meaningful and I could see myself embarking on a long-term career with the SPF,” said the 30-year-old. “I was quite certain that I wanted to be a police officer. So, it was all or nothing for me. If I did not get a scholarship from the SPF, I might not have taken one up at all!”
Supt Ong was eventually offered the Singapore Police Force Scholarship in 2009 and went on to study Biochemistry at the University of College London.
Supt Ong is currently in his 11th year at the SPF and some of his notable deployments include serving as an Investigation Officer in the Serious Sexual Crime Branch at the Criminal Investigation Department, Chief Investigation Officer at Bedok Division, and Head of Organised Crime Branch.
Supt Ong found his defining moment in his career in the Serious Sexual Crime Branch, where he experienced and handled some of the most gritty and challenging cases of his career.
“It was in 2016. This man was sexually abusing the daughter of his girlfriend for many years,” he stated. “This was one of those cases that made you feel that you were contributing to a better and safer society for everyone, because you are putting away a predator.”
“I worked harder than normal as the accused was particularly elusive. It took about a week to find him and we did not have a lot of rest or sleep. I was driven by a sense of purpose and that kept me going. To be able to crack the case and convict the accused, embodies why I joined the police force,” he said.
Crime Buster, Policy Maker
In 2016, he represented Singapore at the 71st United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It was a momentous posting for him, and he acquired valuable new perspectives that aided him greatly in his current role.
“One of the aims of UNGA was to forge consensus on the goals that the countries want to achieve. This experience prepared me well for my current role, which is to find consensus between different agencies, and segments of society!” he said, with a laugh.
As a Senior Assistant Director (Investigation & Enforcement Policy) at the Joint Operations Group of MHA, he deals with policies relating to investigations.
“For instance, we amend the laws such as the Criminal Procedure Code, so that they are updated and relevant to the current crime environment.”
“It is a never-ending race keeping up with the way criminals operate. They are constantly trying to get the better of us in terms of technology or methods, and we have to keep up to respond to them,” he said.
A Purposeful Career
In his decade with the SPF, Supt Ong has gone into operations and policy work, and he appreciates the opportunities given to him.
“Police work is very diverse and has plenty of functions, from frontline, to planning and policy making. Anybody will surely find a niche.”
Regardless of the role, what binds everyone at the SPF is the innate sense of mission and the collegial environment unique to the organisation. Supt Ong urged like-minded individuals to join him at the SPF.
“I believe that you need a lot of humility and you must be willing to put in the hard work,” he said, on what makes a good law enforcer. “Police work can be dreary and uncomfortable at times and you may not know the right way forward. You need humility to consult other people like your stakeholders and your colleagues to identify what is the correct solution, and the hard work to make it happen.”
He concluded: “Police work is not easy, but for those who do join, they will realise that the SPF has a lot of purpose and meaning.”