After completing her GCE O-Levels at the age of 18, Sumanthy Pillai decided to look for a stable job. She joined the ST Kinetics Auxiliary Police Force (APF) in 1984 at the recommendation of her uncle.
This year marks her 35th year of service, and Sumanthy, now a Sergeant, has come a long way since then.
Initially, Sumanthy carried out administrative and telephone operator duties. It was only after the ST Kinetics APF became part of AETOS that she received the necessary training to carry out security-centric work. Although the significant shift in her job scope posed many challenges initially, she took them on willingly, seeing them primarily as learning opportunities.
“There were definitely a lot of changes,” said Sumanthy, “but I didn’t find it difficult to adjust as I was very keen to learn.” Her enthusiasm was evident in the way she embraced her new training - even opting to take courses that she was exempted from, just so she would not miss out on any chances to hone her skills.
Over the following years, Sumanthy directed the same enthusiasm towards her work wherever she was deployed. She was quickly recognized for being especially thorough and vigilant during the course of her duties – from detecting prohibited items to preventing illegal entry into restricted areas. At her current deployment site at DSTA, where she currently leads a team of eleven officers, she has achieved over 50 successful detections of controlled and prohibited items during security screening.
In fact, she has also never gone on medical leave to date. When asked if she had any secrets to maintaining good health, Sumanthy laughed and attributed it to frequent light exercise, as well as drinking a cup of green tea every night without fail – which is definitely a feat in itself.
Sumanthy intends to continue her career with AETOS indefinitely, saying that she wants her first job to also be her last. She goes out of her way to help younger officers, and her wealth of experience makes her an invaluable asset to her division.
The most important piece of advice she gives to her colleagues?
“Always be positive. If you are positive, you can face any difficulties that come your way.”