Petite but packing a punch, she leads an elite police team that protects Singaporeans from violence


Inspector Priscilla Lim, a member of the Emergency Response Team that protects Singaporeans from some of the country’s most violent crimes, has to deal with incidents such as gang fights, assaults and terrorism. CNA Women finds out what training is like and how a typical day works for her.

Police intel revealed that the man was wanted for drug offences and other violent crimes when Inspector Priscilla Lim received an urgent call at 11pm.

She rushed to the scene with her team, but the man had already fled to one of the nearby HDB flats. Her team of four split into two and flanked two staircases on each side of the building, combing it from the top.

She and her partner ran towards the building when they heard shouting from the other side.

My teammates grabbed onto this guy who was hanging precariously from the building’s second floor ledge. She recalled that he screamed for them to let him go and said he wanted to die. In my opinion, he was high on drugs, so we finally caught him.

At midnight, Insp Lim received another call. A woman in Pasir Ris had locked herself in a room after refusing her husband’s sexual advances. Her husband banged on the door with a hammer while she was locked inside. Lim and her team rushed to help her and seized the hammer.

She received one last call reporting a gang fight in Geylang, but when she arrived, the gang had already dispersed. So she spent the remainder of her shift on mobile patrol.

She was leading a team of four from the Singapore Police Force (SPF)’s specialised tactical unit, the Emergency Response Team (ERT).

It is the responsibility of Insp Lim to prevent and respond to terror attacks and cases involving firearms or dangerous weapons, such as parangs and knives. As a regular patroller, she looks out for signs of suspicious activity and terrorism on the east side of Singapore from Geylang to Pasir Ris and Changi, as well as high footfall areas like shopping malls and bus interchanges.


A dangerous job, Insp Lim is well-trained in the use of weapons, combat tactics, and close quarters combat. Even on patrol, she is usually fully armed with a submachine gun, pistol, bullet-resistant vest, ballistic helmet and extra rounds of ammunition, unlike regular police officers.

When Insp Lim is working nine to twelve hours a day, she rarely gears down. In case of high intensity chases, she usually carries 17kg of gear. She is always combat ready, even if she is just doing paperwork at the office, taking a lunch break or going to the bathroom.


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