SATS Security Auxiliary Police Officer Rainier Yong explains how the pandemic helped evolve the role of security within communities

SATS Security Auxiliary Police Officer Rainier Yong explains how the pandemic helped evolve the role of security within communities

Having spent all of his three-year career as a SATS Security Auxiliary Police Officer (APO) in the airport, Sergeant Rainier Yong felt a little out of place when he was first deployed to perform “pandemic duties”.

Mid-2020, during the first Circuit Breaker, he was first deployed to check up on people who had been served Stay Home Notice letters. He was then attached to dormitories for migrant workers and finally to Government Quarantine Facilities (GQF). At both the dormitories and GQF, his day-to-day activities include providing security, monitoring movement of Persons Under Quarantine (PUQs) and acting as a first-response to any incident that might happen. This is a far cry from his duties in aviation, where he was stationed in a control-room focused on planning and deployment of officers. “It was quite an eye-opener and felt a bit weird starting afresh in a new sector,” Rainier shares, “this also gave me an opportunity to interact more with civilians!”

Over the past year, Rainier has adapted well to the changes, explaining how he enjoys meeting new people, learning and experiencing new things. He points out that he has since picked up skills he doesn’t think he would have had in aviation. “Posted out of my comfort zone, I’ve since meet people from different communities. They’re all so different and aside from learning from them, you learn to empathize with them.” This is particularly true for his time in the dormitories, which he confesses, was a challenge.


“It wasn’t easy - communication was tough because there was a major language barrier. So providing instructions or even helping them understand how the tough measures imposed on them were to help them was challenging.” Rainier explains. As this was the start of Circuit Breaker, there was often a lot of confusion - but he and his fellow teammates were on board to help . 

Rainier is quick to point out that this is precisely why it is so important for APOs, or anyone working in the security field to pick up people skills. “At the end of the day, we’re not here to just point out rules and go home, we’re here to serve people – to safeguard and protect them,” he shares. “We need to learn to support communities by first taking time to understand their motivations and their needs.”

He advices fellow APOs to have a thorough understanding of the basics and proper standard operating procedures (SOP) for any location they are stationed at so that they are able to convey it in a manner that civilians are able to comprehend. “I’m also very thankful that the SATS Security team values communication. Because we often move from different sites and locations, every team takes the time and effort to ensure there is plenty of information and case studies available for the next team to learn from and to come in prepared,” he explains.

Rainier is currently posted at a GQF and hopes to be posted to more sites to broaden his knowledge.

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