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  •  Openlink Vol 16 Issue 2
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    Superintendent goes back to class



    The Chinese calligraphy on the wall in Mr Ho's office reads 'Happy is he who is content'.
    Mr Ho became one of the youngest sergeants when he was promoted after only four years in the force. His story was reported in the police newsletter Offbeat in 1981.
    The Commissioner for Tourism invited him to give a talk in the old Central Police Station on its open day about its history.
    Growing indoor plants is a good way to release pressure. Mr Ho chairs the police force's philatelic and horticulture clubs, and is a member of its museum advisory committee.

    With a rucksack on his shoulder, there's little in Henry Ho's appearance or demeanour to suggest he works in the disciplinary force, not to mention being the head of the police station in Tin Sum, Shatin.

    Inside Superintendent Ho's rucksack are books on cross-strait relations between mainland China and Taiwan. There are also piles of them in his office. 'This one is excellent. I got this from Guangzhou,' he bubbled while flipping through the pages of one. Mr Ho is passionate about his scholarly pursuits, earning himself the nickname 'police historian'. He has not stopped studying in his spare time since entering the force at 17. But the OUHK social sciences graduate is more interested in the fun of studying than getting any degree or certificate. He would leave a course immediately if he found there wasn't anything more he could learn from it. Not many courses can hold his interest for long, but OUHK courses seem to be exceptions he has been a student here since 2002 and is doing a master's degree in liberal studies. 'The OUHK courses I have taken have been useful and relevant to the times. I've never been bored,' he said.

    Service in the force over the last 30 years has brought Mr Ho a wide range of experiences, such as negotiating with a feisty criminal, nearly getting shot and leading a group of officers during the 2005 World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. As a police divisional commander, his job is clearly demanding 12-hour work days are normal and calls for prompt decisions in critical situations. 'Studying somehow helps me unwind. I am a student again and can ask questions and make mistakes,' he said.

    What are some of his memories from work? 'There are so many ... The other day I met with a mother whose teenage son was arrested with drugs; she couldn't stop crying. And there have been children who robbed or stole because they couldn't afford to pay school fees. We did our best to help, but it's really sad.'

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