Certis Cisco trainees training to think and act fast

Certis Cisco trainees training to think and act fast

SINGAPORE - People are queuing up in a bank, going about their business.

Then just as an elderly man walks up to a bank teller, the calm is shattered.

A man wearing a ski mask enters the bank, pulls out a gun and shouts: "Give me the money!"

He then takes one of the bank customers hostage.

Staff members at the counter quickly hand the robber cash.

As he is about to leave, a Certis Cisco officer tells him to drop his weapon but an exchange of gunfire ensues.

Nobody gets hurt though as this is an armed robbery response drill at the Certis Cisco Academy.

The elderly man and the hostage are actually two of 10 auxiliary police officer (APO) trainees going through the drill as part of their basic training.

The armed robber in the exercise we saw on Wednesday was played by Mr Thomas Tham, 39, a field training officer.

"The trainers take turns to play the robber and it's actually quite fun," he said.

"Sometimes you throw a curveball to see how the recruits think on their feet."

The academy, which moved to its current premises at Science Centre Road in December 2013, houses up to 180 trainees training to be APOs.

It boasts modern facilities such as training and security X-ray simulators.

Overseeing Wednesday's drill was Mr Abdul Aziz Adam, 46, the academy's assistant manager of curriculum development.

He said: "These drills help the trainees familiarise themselves with how to react in such situations."

Mr Abdul, who started out as a constable with Certis Cisco 21 years ago, now oversees about 30,000 trainees every year.

"I miss the challenge of being out in the field," he said. "But now, I can use my experience to teach the trainees."

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