To auxiliary police officer Jason, the evening of August 3, 2019 is impossible to forget. The night saw Jason firing his first shots ever while on duty. Although those shots were not fired from a service revolver loaded with live ammunition, Jason is the first auxiliary police officer to fire a gun since the beginning of Operation TIDERIDER.
An audio-visual engineer by profession, Jason joined the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force (HKAPF) back in 1995. Having been stationed in the Hung Hom District for years, he was transferred to the Yau Tsim District five years ago, an area that happened to become one of the main battlefields since the outbreak of protests against the extradition law amendment bill in June last year.
“In the past, I was on duty for about 20 hours every month. However, my monthly working hours more than doubled on average over the past year, and I also had to undertake duties that were usually outside the purview of auxies, such as conducting high-profile patrols and safeguarding the police station.”
When night fell on August 3, 2019, a group of rioters gathered at Nathan Road and hurled rocks at the Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station. Then, at around 8pm, there was an escalation of violence as the rioters threw petrol bombs at the police station in an attempt to set the building on fire. This marked the first major attack waged by rioters on a police station since the outbreak of such protests. That very night, Jason changed into a set of anti-riot gear and wielded a gun loaded with tear gas rounds. Together with a team of colleagues, Jason was fully on guard at a spot that was close to an uncovered area of the police station.
All of a sudden, a brick that was sent flying into the police station from Kowloon Park happened to hit the shield that Jason was holding, and the clash created a deafening bang. It was understood that the brick had been launched by some hysterical rioters using a giant catapult. Jason said that had the brick not been blocked by the shield, it would have hit him or his colleagues and caused potentially fatal injuries to them.
In order to stop the wanton attacks from reckless rioters, the commander ordered Jason to fire tear gas rounds in the direction of the location from which the brick was launched. However, since the rioters were quite far away, Jason offered to go and fire the rounds from a car park that was closer to the crowd. Although his first shot narrowly missed the target, his second and third shots did the job and successfully dispersed the rioters.
Jason admitted that he was fully prepared for close combat between himself and the rioters, if they did barge into the police station. Luckily, the team successfully guarded their defence line. Given that cases of auxiliary police officers firing guns are few and far between, Jason’s case has been widely circulated within the Force since then.
Ever since the protests against the extradition law amendment bill broke out, not only has Jason’s passion for police work shown no signs of flagging, but it has even deepened. He said, “Seeing my full-time colleagues risk their own lives and exhaust themselves while executing their duties day in day out, I understand the importance of auxiliary police officers even more. This realisation has prompted me to refer to the Police General Orders and legal publications from time to time, in the hope of further enhancing my professionalism when I discharge my duties to help alleviate the strain on my full-time colleagues. As I have had more opportunities to work with regular police officers, I have tried my best to memorise the name of each of them, in order to show my heartfelt respect for them.”
Jason said members of his family fully support his decision to be an auxiliary police officer, as they think it is a tremendously meaningful role to be in. However, he did get confronted by some friends holding political views different to his. In such situations, Jason chose to candidly share his experiences at work, to help his friends understand what it is like to be police officers.
During Operation TIDERIDER, a considerable number of citizens chose to join the HKAPF, in order to do their part in upholding law and order in society. In the financial year 2019/2020, a total of 2 166 people applied to become auxiliary police officers. This was a significant increase of 92 per cent on the 1 131 applicants recorded in the financial year 2018/2019.
Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:
|Mr Kenneth Kwok||CSP PPRB (Chairperson)|
|Ms Jessica Wong||PIO PP PPRB|
|Mr Raymond Lee||CIP MR PPRB|
|Mr Louis Sin||TSRO HKI|
|Mr Marco Chan||ATSRO NTN|
|Ms Grace Mak||TSRO NTS|
|Ms Angela Lai||TSRO MAR|
|Mr Wilson Tam||SIP SR 2|
|Ms Jandy Shek||CIP AS HKPC|
|Ms Ada Wong||SIP HQ (2) CRM|
|Mr Ma Tak-hung||JPOA REP|
|Mr Jeff Mok||EO G&D|
|Editor:||Ivy Leung: 2860-6171|
|Reporter:||Dickson Choi: 2860-6172|
|Photographers:||Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Lam Yu-san: 2860-6175
|Address:||10/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters,
No.1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
|Deadline for Issue 1164:||July 9, 2020 (before 6pm)
|Deadline for Issue 1165:||July 23, 2020 (before 6pm)
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Published by the Police Public Relations Branch, Hong Kong Police Force