Central Narcotics Bureau
Feature | CNB

Striving Towards a Drug-Free Singapore: Behind the Why

Most of us know about the devastating consequences drugs can cause – but what do we know about those who selflessly guard us against them? Senior Staff Sergeant Abdul Rasheed s/o Raheem is one such dedicated guardian in the unyielding battle against the scourge of drugs. Discover his motivations and inspiration as he answers the call to keep Singapore safe from drugs.

Left: SSSgt Abdul Rasheed s/o Raheem is an Investigation Officer with the General Investigation Branch at the Central Narcotics Bureau. He was awarded the Home Team Diploma Sponsorship in 2014. He graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and joined CNB in 2017. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Public Safety & Security from SUSS under the Bureau’s sponsorship.

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) is the primary drug enforcement agency with a clear and focused mandate – to keep Singapore safe from the harms of illicit drugs. To remain in the forefront of the fight against drugs, safeguarding our communities, and upholding the values of a drug-free society, CNB takes on the mission of Enforcing, Educating and Engaging for a Drug-Free Singapore. While many are familiar with the crucial efforts undertaken by the CNB, the dedication of diligent individuals behind the scenes serves as an equally vital driving force behind CNB’s success and its vision of a drug-free society.

From the TV Screen to Reality

For SSSgt Abdul Rasheed, a career with the CNB began with a fascination for investigative work kindled by the local television show ‘Crimewatch.’ This docu-drama series showcased the efforts of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Home Team Departments through re-enactments, interviews, and real-life experiences, inspiring a new generation of law enforcers.

“The concept of law enforcement officers apprehending criminals and contributing to a safer world deeply intrigued me,” he explained.

This fascination would be further cemented by Rasheed’s own uncle, who had served in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) during his National Service. Through his uncle’s sharing, he recognised the importance of maintaining law and order, protecting citizens from criminal activities, and the harmful effects of drugs. He shared: “The desire to contribute positively to society and make a difference in people’s lives sparked my interest in a career in public safety and security.”

With a determination to pursue a career in public safety, Rasheed applied for a Home Team Diploma Sponsorship with the CNB during his diploma studies. This opportunity not only enabled him to obtain a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from Ngee Ann Polytechnic but also aligned perfectly with his passion for partaking in drug operations and desire to engage in challenging work.

His journey with the Bureau began in the Enforcement J Division. From planning for and conducting drug raids during his time with the Enforcement Division, Rasheed later transitioned to the role of Investigation Officer at the General Investigation Branch, where he takes on a diverse set of responsibilities.

“As an Investigation Officer based at CNB HQ, my typical day on the job involves investigating drug-related offences,” he recounted. “This includes going through evidence, interviewing witnesses and accused persons, and preparing case recommendations for my supervisor’s review.”

Despite the varied nature of his responsibilities, one aspect remains constant – the strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie within the organisation. “Even though the work we do can be challenging and unpredictable at times, we never fail to look out for one another, and safety is the utmost priority,” he explained. He describes the whole working experience in CNB as a blend of excitement, thrill, and fulfilment.

As an enforcement officer with the CNB, Rasheed has been fortunate to be exposed to other areas of CNB work. He holds secondary appointments like Welfare Representative and Divisional Treasurer. He was also involved in policy and process reviews. “I took on these responsibilities to expand my horizons and I picked up many important skillsets along the way,” he revealed.

Rasheed’s work extends beyond merely apprehending drug offenders. With no two days being the same on the job, he is mindful to keep himself up for the challenge. He often finds himself grappling with complex investigations that demand meticulous attention to detail and a thorough analysis of evidence. However, he embraces these challenges wholeheartedly and finds immense fulfilment in knowing that his efforts contribute to creating a safer and drug-free society. “The sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that my work contributes to creating a safer and drug-free society is unparalleled.”

“In one instance, the parents expressed their gratitude towards my efforts in investigating their son’s case and this adds to the fulfilment and sense of purpose in what I do,” he affirmed.

Abdul Rasheed

Abdul Rasheed s/o Raheem and his son

Striking the Perfect Balance

While Rasheed’s job at the CNB holds significant importance in his life, it is not the sole focus. He also cherishes the joy of being a new parent to his newborn son. Balancing these diverse aspects of life can be challenging, but Rasheed finds that maintaining seamless harmony between his professional and personal life is greatly influenced by the people he is surrounded by.

“When planning for operations, the team leads will always ensure that there is a team on standby and ready to seamlessly take over duties from the working party,” he mused. Rasheed rests easy in the knowledge that the CNB deeply prioritises the well-being of its team members and emphasises providing ample opportunities for rest and recuperation. “Our dedication to fostering a supportive caring environment ensures that officers can recharge and maintain peak performance.”

“As much as we work hard, we also play hard. We have organisation-wide sports events such as bowling and futsal tournaments as well as inter-divisional tournaments and healthy and lifestyle events,” he relayed with enthusiasm.

With CNB’s focus on work-life harmony, Rasheed shared, “As for myself, I can confidently share that, through the unwavering support of my family, I have successfully struck a harmonious balance between my career and personal life. This allows me to be effective at work and has also enriched my overall satisfaction and happiness.”

“The sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that my work contributes to creating a safer and drug-free society is unparalleled.” Abdul Rasheed s/o Raheem

Onward and Upward with the CNB

Looking back on his journey, Rasheed views his career as a testament to the unwavering commitment of the bureau to train and develop its officers. Not one to rest on his laurels, he is currently pursuing a full-time Bachelor of Public Safety and Security at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, under the sponsorship of the Bureau.

Rasheed also shared that being awarded the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Full-Time Degree Scholarship in 2022 was the highlight of his career. “Although the application process was tough involving interview sessions with both the organisation and school of choice, I am glad my application was successful and I would like to thank all my colleagues, supervisors and senior management for this excellent opportunity to upgrade myself,” he beamed.

He added, “CNB facilitates personal and professional growth through various means, such as providing training and development programmes to enhance officers’ skills and knowledge. Officers are encouraged to take up secondary appointments, participate in courses, and attend workshops to develop leadership and management abilities. Personally, before I started my full-time studies, I have been attending several courses every year to upskill and develop myself.” This dedication to continuous learning and personal growth has been instrumental in his professional growth within the CNB.

According to Rasheed, what’s particularly appealing about working in the CNB is knowing that dedicated officers who show potential will have their contributions recognised. “There are also structures in place to develop officers to their potential,” he explained.

As long as Rasheed continues to excel at his various roles, he knows that there will be many opportunities for career advancement.

On what he would like to share with jobseekers hoping to join CNB, he said, “I would advise them to show the genuine passion they have in the fight against drugs.”

“Because this is more than just a job. You are answering a calling, and when the day gets tough, your passion is what will keep you going.”