FIFTY members of the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) yesterday gathered at Fanling headquarters for a mission involving five armoured vehicles.
But they were not heading for anti-riot operations in Vietnamese detention centres or to curb violent demonstrations outside the headquarters of Xinhua (the New China News Agency) in Happy Valley.
The mission was to raise funds for Operation Santa Claus 1994. Senior Inspector Dave Childs said they had raised more than $14,000, and he believed they would hit their target of $20,000 by the end of this month.
It is the third year that the PTU has helped Operation Santa Claus. Last year, it raised $20,010.
Yesterday, the 50 PTU volunteers, ranking from constable to chief inspector, competed as five teams in three gruelling events - a five-kilometre run, a race over the PTU headquarters assault course and the pulling of Saxon armoured personnel vehicles.
The competition opened with a run to Tolo Highway. The winner was Constable Levis Chong Ka-lok, 21, for the Foxtrot team.
He said later: 'I grew up in a poor family. I understand what deprived children suffer from. We should give them basic needs and proper care.' The competition hit a high point when each team hauled an eight-tonne Saxon armoured personnel vehicle in the forecourt of the PTU headquarters.
This year, officers from the Foxtrot and Golf teams tied for the glory of being top team.
Chief Superintendent Justin Cunningham said: 'We all enjoyed the competition very much, as it was a good health exercise and at the same time raised money for a very worthwhile cause.' KPS Video Express will hold a special Operation Santa Claus day on Christmas Day. For a minimum donation of $8, you can take out videos from any of the 20 KPS video stores, with all proceeds going to the appeal.
From now until Tuesday, December 27, you can also drop donations in boxes at 20 KPS Video shops.