Detective inspector Chan Sze-ki has never been one to sit out of the action. Three days after he was shot in the head by the leader of an infamous jewellery heist gang, Chan hopped out of his hospital bed and began searching for his revolver. Even surgery to remove the AK-47 bullet lodged in Chan's head couldn't give the prospect of a desk job any appeal. 'This is what my mother and my wife hate about me most,' he said. 'The first thing I asked for [after the injury] was not to withdraw, but to retain my post,' Chan said. 'I am very stubborn. In my early life in the police force, most of the time I had been led by what I am interested in [criminal investigation].' He returned to the Kowloon East Regional Crime Unit in December 1992 after 128 days in hospital and two days later found himself fighting another gang of heavily armed robbers in Tsuen Wan Centre. He remained on the job for 19 more years. Tomorrow, however, Chan will finally walk away from the front line and join a crime prevention unit. His gun is likely to remain firmly in its holster. Reflecting on his 28 years in the police force, Chan says he devoted himself to service at the expense of his health and family. 'I was a foolish loyalist,' said Chan, 47. 'What I enjoyed most was my police work. I would not see how the management treated me. I was just blindly committed. I omitted my family, my wife and my daughter.' Chan's decision to step back follows numerous health scares and battles for compensation for his injuries. Once seen as a rising star in the police force, Chan suffered his fateful wound on April 24, 1992, during a raid on a building on Li Tak Street, Tai Kok Tsui, serving as a safe house for a gang of armed jewellery thieves. Five robbers inside the flat opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles and threw grenades at the lightly armed officers. Five policemen and 14 civilians were injured. Chan tripped in front of the gang's leader, who shot him point-blank. The bullet passed through Chan's skull and the frontal lobe of his brain. It travelled down through his nostril and tongue and stopped just inches under the skin of his neck. Complications followed. He lost his memory, his temper and his bladder control. In 2001, Chan decided to quit detective work. He served a short spell as a trainer before joining the Kowloon East Regional Intelligence Unit in 2003, where he remains today. Meanwhile, Chan's relationship with his beloved police force deteriorated. He filed a lawsuit protesting the compensation he received for his injury - just HK$125,000 - and the Court of Appeal eventually awarded him HK$1.45 million, ruling Chan was poorly briefed before the raid. He suddenly sought an adjournment in 2007 just as the case was returning to a lower court to assess how much more damages he could claim for his loss of post-retirement earnings. Chan refused to explain the reason, describing the case only as an 'unhappy experience.' Chan now knows how to 'make a balance' and says he is happy with his transfer. It will give him the chance to spend more time with his wife, a banker, and his 17-year-old daughter, who is studying in Britain. Police work, he said, is a lot like his favourite food: curry. 'I sweat a lot when I eat curry,' Chan said. 'With much love and little hate, this sums up my job and my delicate affection for the force. I believe I have lived a life with no regret in the police force.'