The police force is set for a major reshuffle following the appointment of a deputy commissioner as undersecretary for security with the Security Bureau.
The appointment comes before a tide of departures expected among the senior ranks over the next two years.
John Lee Ka-chiu, 55, who has been with the force for 35 years, will take up his new post next month.
Lee joined as a probationary inspector in 1977 and worked his way up to deputy commissioner in 2010. He held a wide range of operational duties including serving as commander of Kowloon West Region, director of crime and security and as a policy formulator.
As undersecretary, Lee will earn HK$211,560 a month.
Police Inspectors' Association chairman Benjamin Tsang Chiu-fo said Lee was a capable person who thought things through before acting.
He believed Lee would be a great addition to the Security Bureau as he had a sound knowledge of security affairs.
But new "super seat" lawmaker Democrat James To Kun-sun disagreed with the appointment.
"It will be difficult for the government to strike a balance between enforcement and human rights if all the bureau's political appointees come from the police force," he said.
Lee's departure sets the scene for a retirement-boom reshuffle in the force's senior management. Another deputy commissioner, Xavier Tang Kam-moon, two senior assistant commissioners and five assistant commissioners are expected to retire in the next two years.
Tsang said the force had enough manpower to ensure smooth successions.
Other political posts announced yesterday included Christine Loh Kung-wai, undersecretary for the environment; Yau Shing-mu, reappointed undersecretary for transport and housing; and Caspar Tsui Ying-wai, reappointed as a political assistant with the Home Affairs Bureau.
Ronald Chan Ngok-pang, former special assistant to the chief executive's office, becomes a political assistant with the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau.