Operation SOLARPEAK is an unprecedented challenge for the Force in recent years. While frontline officers were discharging their duties, Personnel Services and Staff Relations (PS&SR) Branch took up the responsibility of looking after the physical and psychological needs of the officers to help them accomplish their tough mission in the best condition.
Several thousands of police officers are on duty each day during the operation. Therefore, Catering, Clubs and Sports Group has shouldered the responsibility of making meal arrangements for the officers, which is integral to maintaining their morale. Besides breakfasts, lunches and dinners, snacks, fruits and beverages are also available for the officers during rest breaks. Among the long list of refreshments are sweets, nuts, energy bars, biscuits, pears, bananas, apples, herbal tea, green tea and ion supply drinks.
The greatest challenge was protesters stopping trucks delivering meals from entering into the Central Government Complex (CGC), resulting in the ad hoc arrangements for officers to deliver meals on foot. Officers comprising recruit police constables, retired officers, and officers from Crime and Uniform Branches took up the delivery duties for two days. By breaking down thousands of meal sets into smaller quantities, they made three deliveries to the officers at CGC each day.
To boost morale, Catering, Transport and Logistics Coordination Centre has adopted the motto: "Meals will be delivered regardless of distance, quantity, time or difficulty", and addressed the officers' catering needs promptly.
The operation has already exceeded ten days, during which officers faced verbal provocations and charges by protesters and critiques from the media and the public. Their work pressure is understandable. The high degree of restraint and professionalism they displayed under these circumstances is commendable and supported by the general public.
Use of Information Platforms
During the operation, Staff Relations Group and Psychological Services Group (PSG) kept pulse of the fast-developing issues and provided timely information for officers, such as CP's message, follow-up of catering problems, as well as clarification of information fallacies, via mobile and computer networks. This breakthrough has significantly enhanced internal communication.
Many of the frontline officers engaged in the operation have received cheering messages via their mobile phones, such as "Conserve strength and rise to challenges", "Remain united and steadfast in our duties at this critical moment", "Take pride and feel no qualms", "Dawn is just round the corner, carry on!" and "Emotional adjustments in Operation SOLARPEAK".
PSG disseminates all these encouraging messages every day according to the development of the operation and the emotions of officers. Members of staff associations and Carelinks Cadre widely spread the messages. In particular, this way of dissemination was useful for the officers on duty at the CGC.
Psychological and Welfare Support
Police Clinical Psychologists also meet frontline officers to get a better idea of their morale. They have provided psychological support services to those affected by unforeseen incidents. Force Welfare Officers also show their care and offer immediate welfare support to those wounded in the operation.
Support from CP and Senior Officers
During the operation, CP and the Force Senior Management went to the frontline to encourage officers, and to hospitals to visit those wounded on duty. Their concern and encouragement have greatly boosted morale.
Encouragement from the Public
Apart from internal mutual support, public support for the Force's law enforcement actions is a great encouragement for officers during this trying time. Members of the public have sent gifts to the Force in person, including thank-you cards, flowers, snacks and fruits. They are on display in the lobby of Police Headquarters and some police stations.
Remain Unflinching without Qualms
Although Operation SOLARPEAK is full of variables and challenges, the whole Force is still moving on as a team maintaining its unswerving morale and team spirit. Every Force member remains resolute, supports one another, never succumbs to hardship, and uphold the rule of law for our seven million population.