The Singapore Government Scholarship (SGS) (Police) has offered 29-year-old Wilbur Sim Yang Lie an enriching and fulfilling career at the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

He was attracted to the scholarship for its various leadership opportunities while actively contributing to the safety and security of the society.

“A scholarship is not just a means to an overseas education; it could potentially lead to a lifelong career. The dynamic nature of the job, coupled with the many challenges I face when interacting with people from different walks of life, keeps me excited as I look forward to new challenges every day,” he says.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sim was awarded the scholarship in 2008. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (First Class Honours) from United Kingdom’s Imperial College London and also garnered the Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI). Subsequently, he pursued a Master of Philosophy in Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

Leveraging technology

DSP Sim has been with the SPF since 2012. Upon graduation, he had to undergo a nine-month training stint at the Home Team Academy.

Following that, he served as an Investigation Officer at the Central Police Division. This was followed by a posting as Team Leader in the Kampong Java Neighbourhood Police Centre.

Currently, he is a Planning Officer in the Research, Planning & Organisational Development Branch in the Traffic Police (TP).

He works closely with Police Headquarters, Ministry of Home Affairs and other agencies to develop strategy and policies on traffic-related matters.

DSP Sim also handles a myriad of issues. These include developing policies on Autonomous Vehicles and leveraging technology to streamline work processes at TP.

He is also constantly finetuning the TP’s three-pronged approach — Education, Engagement and Enforcement — towards making Singapore roads safer for everyone.

Helping to formulate and deliver TP’s overall plan to reduce road traffic fatalities while maintaining law and order on the roads has been one of his most rewarding career experiences.

DSP Sim was involved in planning and operationalising the deployment of traffic sensors — such as digital Red Light Cameras (RLCs), Fixed Speed Cameras (FSCs) and Mobile Speed Cameras (MSCs) — at accident-prone locations.

“It is no mere coincidence that the road traffic situation has shown continuous improvements over the past few years — the number of traffic fatalities has dropped significantly,” he says.

He was also involved in improving TP’s crowdsourcing capabilities, allowing members of the public to use their smartphones to “point, shoot and send” road traffic violations via online platforms such as E-Feedback on Road Users and i-Witness.

Apart from leveraging technology to improve TP’s enforce-ment capabilities, he also played a part in policy and legislative changes while ensuring that service delivery was not affected.

“This would prove to be a daunting task if I did not possess a strong background in engineering,” he says.

A national mission

DSP Sim says: “Keeping Singapore safe and secure is a noble task that involves many sacrifices. I would encourage young men and women to join the SPF if they share our mission of upholding justice and maintaining law and order.”

He is looking forward to taking on command positions within SPF where he will be able to exercise the leadership skills that he has gained and make a positive impact on his fellow officers and the public.

He adds: “I also relish the opportunity to be seconded to the Ministry of Home Affairs or other ministries where I will have the chance to understand wide-ranging issues which will broaden my perspective, and hopefully with my ground experience, allow me to contribute towards the formulation of sound policies that will benefit society at large.”