It started as a routine raid. It turned into a case with lives at stake.
In June, Inspector Pamela Chua, 25, of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and her team were at a HDB flat at Tanglin Halt, confronting a suspected user of methamphetamine.
"As usual, we knocked on his door. But this time, his actions were not what we usually encounter," she said.
The 24-year-old suspect did not react even after CNB officers identified themselves and he refused to open the door.
Inspector Chua said that he repeatedly asked why they were there and did not appear to be in the right mind to communicate properly.
"But the main thing that made us worry was that he kept walking around. We also noticed there was a young girl in the house," she said.
The officers assessed that the suspect was then under the influence of meth and could cause harm to himself and the seven-year-old girl, who was the suspect's sister.
They decided to force their way into the flat, but the suspect slammed the door shut.
"He threatened to jump if we forced our way in and he ran to the bedroom, shutting the door," said Inspector Chua.
TRIED TO TALK
The forced-entry attempt was halted and Inspector Chua went downstairs with a few other officers.
"He was at the window and I was on the ground floor. I tried to talk to him, tried to get him to give me his phone number so I can call him to talk," said Inspector Chua.
The CNB officers also contacted the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). Said Inspector Chua: "He was willing to give me his number, but he was a distance away so I couldn't really catch it. So he gave up."
She said that they kept the suspect within their sights and made sure he stayed inside the flat. Meanwhile, they tried to stall for time while the SPF and SCDF made their way there.
"His mother came back and tried to persuade him face to face, but that didn't work as well," Inspector Chua said.
The SCDF and SPF made it in time and inflated a life pack (a large air cushion), breaking the suspect's fall when he eventually jumped.
The suspect was arrested. Both he and his sister were unhurt. The drama lasted for 45 minutes to an hour.
"In the end, we felt that we achieved the best result possible," said Inspector Chua.
On Monday, Inspector Chua received the Minister for Home Affairs Award for Operational Excellence on behalf of her division on Monday for this case.
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