Go! Go! Goretex

Goretex: The material of choice
"SUPPORT WING is always looking at ways of improving police uniforms and equipment," said SIP Support Bureau, Barry Truhol. "At present, the existing reefer jacket worn by Uniform Branch officers is unsuitable for cold, rainy weather because its fabric - thick, heavy melton wool - is not waterproof. Last year we began to look at the possibility of replacing it with a jacket made of a more suitable material."

@That material chosen is Goretex - a light yet durable, waterproof fabric that "breathes", is easy to wash and comes highly praised by Traffic police, who have been wearing a three-layer version of the jacket for a year.

@The first batch of 500, quality controlled, new two-layer Goretex jackets will be available to UB officers sometime in December, just in time for Hong Kong's often damp, cold and miserable weather.

@The lightweight jacket comes with fully taped seams that completely seal its stitching and joints to keep water out and dryness in. Its two-way zip and storm flap resists strong winds and driving rain, while adjustable side flaps fasten with popper buttons facilitating easy access to an officer's side equipment.

Adjustable side flaps fasten with popper
buttons facilitating easy access to an
officer's revolver

@Designed to be worn year-round, the new jacket features a zippered removable "thinsulate" lining (produced by 3M Company), and comes with trousers made of the same material. With "Hong Kong Police" printed in a reflective 3M coating on the left chest of the jacket, the whole suit makes an excellent replacement for the long nylon raincoat currently in use.

@The December batch of Goretex jackets will be available to new recruit officers and those in Police Training School (that is, officers not already issued reefer jackets), while another 8,500 will be issued in January and March of next year to the majority of frontline officers. All UB personnel are expected to have their new Goretex jackets by the end of next year.

@Officers should submit an order form to Police Stores for the new Goretex jacket (which comes in seven sizes from XS to XXXL), and will be expected to turn in their reefer coats.

Firearms and Tactics Instructors course

GRADUATES of the recent six-week Firearms and Tactics Instructors course (held at the Police Training School between 8 September and 23 October), threw a surprise party at the NCO's mess to express their gratitude and appreciation for their instructors' professionalism, patience, skill and experience.

Graduates of the Firearms and Tactics Instructors course with
their teachers

@Their instructors were definitely surprised - and quite astounded by the huge spread of delectable food and beverage. But being seasoned veterans, they jokingly responded: "This is our second surprise. It was also an unexpected surprise to us that none of you failed the course."

@Applicants for the Firearms and Tactics Instructors course (which accepts just ten students) undergo a strict selection process. This batch consisted of one SIP and nine sergeants: three from PTU, one from PTS, one from Auxiliary Police HQ, one from SDS and four from EUs in different regions. Most had teaching experience as instructors in the Force. All admit the course was surprisingly tough - but worth it.

@"I joined the course because I recognise the importance of being a firearms and tactics instructor (FTI)," said graduate SIP Yu Wing-ming of PTU, who considers a FTI's main responsibility as that of teaching colleagues the safe use of firearms. "Our role is significant because what we teach will be passed from one generation of officers to the next. Ten graduates in each class may have several thousand students. For this reason, we must set high standards."

@Course content - a combination of theory, practice, instruction techniques, rules and regulations - is varied and participants must pass shooting tests as well as written exams. Studies include: practical and personal shooting skills training, knowledge of weaponry, application of tactics and strategies, management of a rifle range, and the demonstration of shooting techniques and teaching methods.

@Said Sergeant Yip Chun-yin of PTS, who feels more confident handling a weapon after qualifying as a FTI: "Firearms training is extremely important to frontline officers. You may get only one chance during an encounter with an armed gang who open fire."

@Winner of the course shooting competition, Sergeant Jack Ho Hin-wing agreed that the FTI course is significant: "The intensity of the training instils a balance between the safety and efficiency of using firearms - both are essential. In fact, all police actions involving the use of firearms is rigidly enforced by the law and regulations in the Police General Orders. The idea is, by applying the regulations in practice, to be able to adjust decision-making when using a weapon to any situation. And all situations are different."

@Over food and drinks during the celebrations, the participants also made constructive suggestions for the future operation of the FTIC. All felt that over the year the number of students taking the firearms training course should be increased to ensure optimum confidence, knowledge and skills of weaponry throughout the Force.

@They also felt that to achieve the ultimate goals of the training course, more resources and supplies were necessary, pointing to the unavailability of bullet-proof vests during some segments of the course.

@Overall, the new firearms and tactics instructors graduates had nothing but praise for the course and their teachers. And the intensive six-weeks they spent together will not be forgotten. "Though we came from different formations, all of us worked closely and harmoniously - and made a lot of new and close friends," they said.

Calibre of speakers high at Senior Command Course

CP Hui Ki-on, SSP Higher Training Geoff Merrick and
SP John Lisle with participants of Senior Command Course

AS those who have taken it know, the Senior Command Course is an intensive three-week course held three times a year for recently promoted Force Superintendents. Senior Command Course 2/97 consisted of sixteen Superintendents and ran from 20 October to 8 November, but differed from previous meetings in that, apart from the university professors who are brought in to address SSC participants, this time the sessions also enlisted the input of top level people and leaders in their field from the world of politics, banking, management and business - the true practitioners.

@The SCC has been reviewed as a result of Superintendent, Higher Training, John Lisle's recent attendance at a similar course at the Australian Police Staff College.

@"That course stressed how the police generally underestimate/undersell themselves," said Superintendent Lisle. "The police have a massive wealth of experience and talent in their senior officers, but they are often reluctant to express it or seek additional input by directly contacting people who are the tops in their field. So what we did for the course was to directly phone these people, explain the course and ask if they would come and participate in it as guest speakers. All were more than happy to participate - almost regarding it as a social duty."

@In fact, Simon Murray CBE, was late for his daughter's engagement party so that he could finish his address to the SCC participants. He spoke on the subject of leadership and management, drawing on his extensive experience ranging from five years in the French Foreign Legion, during the Algerian Civil War, to his current post of Executive Chairman (Asia Pacific) of Deutsche Bank Group.

@Other top level guest speakers included the Honourable David Chu Yu-lin, Provisional Legislative Council Member, who had a working breakfast with the course. He discussed his recently published policy paper Reinvigorated Police Force for the Special Administrative Region.

@Dr Lau Siu-kai, member of the Preliminary Working Committee and the Preparatory Committee, discussed society and politics in China.

@A riveting talk on leadership and empowerment was given by Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck CB, currently the Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce, who was the Commander British Armoured Forces during the Gulf War.

@Jimmy Lai, owner of Apple Daily, discussed Hong Kong media from an owners viewpoint; while Graham Hutchings, the China Correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph, spoke on "China's search for an identity". Mr Hutchings is currently writing A Companion to Modern China for Pengium. He speaks Putonghua fluently and reads and writes Chinese.

@James To Kun-sun also addressed the course from a Democratic Party perspective; while former US State Department adviser William Overholt now of Bankers Trust addressed the course on China and economic reform.

@Senior Command Course participants also heard from two HKSBC top managers who talked about strategic planning from a practical viewpoint, and three non government organisations - namely Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth - who addressed the course for the first time.

@"All these speakers complimented the various presentations made by prominent academics to the course," said Superintendent Lisle. "Future sessions will continue to enlist the input of similar top level, true practitioners in their fields. We are also looking into academic accreditation and recognised qualification for the course."

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