SINGAPORE – After discovering that a resident in Yuhua was arrested for the second time in 2017 for stealing milk powder, Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Ahmad Fauzi Sani visited the woman’s flat to find out more about her plight.

The community policing officer from Jurong East Neighbourhood Police Centre learnt that she was a mother of five young children – the youngest was less than a year old – and was dependent on her husband who earned about $2,000 a month as a technician.

Trying not to burden him with the cost of milk powder, the woman resorted to stealing from a supermarket, said SSGT Fauzi, who has been in the police force for nine years.

“As a father of two sons myself, I understand how expensive milk powder can be. So I went back and tried to work with my contacts to see how I could help her,” he added.

To prevent the woman – who served a jail sentence – from re-offending, the 31-year-old officer went beyond his call of duty and contacted various agencies including the People’s Association and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

His efforts enabled the family to secure financial support from the MSF, as well as vouchers from Comcare worth $700 that can be used to buy milk powder.

“I picked up the forms from the community centre and brought (them) to her husband for him to sign. Somehow, they didn’t know the various avenues to seek help,” said SSGT Fauzi.

He also introduced the woman to volunteers from the Yuhua Grassroots Organisations.

To ensure that she is coping well, SSGT Fauzi continues to visit her.

The police officer was one of three recipients of the Distinguished Star Service Award at the annual Minister’s Awards Presentation Ceremony on Monday (Sept 30), organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Speaking to reporters, SSGT Fauzi said he was surprised to be one of the recipients this year. “The award is secondary. My primary objective is to make sure that my residents are well taken care of,” he added.

A total of 120 awards were given out to recognise outstanding officers, teams and agencies that had demonstrated efficiency and competency in major operations, cases and projects, or displayed high standards of innovation and service excellence in the course of their work.

The four categories of awards were the Minister for Home Affairs Home Team Achievement Award; the Minister for Home Affairs Operational Excellence Awards; Star Service Awards; and the Home Team Innovation Awards.