Security agencies to get S$7 million from S'pore govt to invest in new technology

Security officers of the future will have the skills and technology to run even more Trump-Kim Summits well.

Sulaiman Daud | July 18, 2018, 09:37 PM

The security industry is ripe for a tech upgrade.

Mention security and one might think of middle-aged guys with flashlights, walking around an empty building.

But according to Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo, there's nothing to stop security companies and professionals from investing in technology to improve efficiency.

Building blocks of the future

Speaking at the Security Officers' Day Awards ceremony on July 18, Teo observed that the industry has only taken baby steps so far:

"Many agencies don't use any of the technologies. At most, 30 per cent use one of them. in other words, we are still very far from a technology-enabled future of the industry."

Teo was referring to what she referred to as Stage 1 technologies which will form the "building blocks" of further advancements down the line.

These include:

  • Automated visitor management systems
  • Mobile-enabled patrol and incident management system
  • CCTV cameras with video analytics

By adopting these technologies, security officers will be able to respond more quickly and effectively to incidents.

For example, security officers with customised smartphones will be able to report incidents faster, and upgraded CCTV cameras can replace manpower-intensive patrols by automatically detecting anomalies.


Financial support

These innovations were examples of how security firms can be helped by the new Security Industry Digital Plan (IDP), which Teo formally launched at the event.

The IDP, which was developed by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), will provide security firms with a guide to what kind of technology they should invest in at each stage of their development.

The IDP will also help these firms to defray the cost of implementation, with at least $7 million allocated by Enterprise Singapore for this purpose, over the next two to three years.

This is in addition to the $10 million support package announced by the government for the Security Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in Feb. 2017.

Complementing manpower

But when industries undergo technology shifts, employees are naturally concerned about job security.

Recognising this, Teo stressed the need to integrate tech with skilled manpower.

She said that the government will focus on equipping workers with the skills necessary for progress.

To help with this, the IDP includes a "Digital Roadmap" on training, which outlines new courses for security officers to develop a range of digital skills.

This can include basic skills like Microsoft Excel, to using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality at the workplace.

With the right skills, security officers don't have to fear change, but embrace it instead.

Top image from Pixabay.