Border police form vital part of community

Updated: 2015-02-18 16:02

By Zhou Huiying(China Daily)

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Beiji Border Police Station in Beiji Village, in Mohe county, is China's northernmost police station.

Three villages, Beiji, Luoguhe and Beihong, are scattered in an area of 2,380 square kilometers, with a combined population of 3,464 and 173 km of border with Russia marked by the Heilong River.

However, only 14 police officers work at the station.

Zhang Zhe, a 23-year-old border police officer, has been at the Beiji police station for one year.

He has walked through all the streets in Beiji Village numerous times and pays attention to the distinctive features of each one.

"Streets in the village look quite similar. As police officers, we have to be able to distinguish them," said Zhang. "If someone gets lost, we can find them as soon as possible. It would be pretty dangerous if we couldn't help a person who is lost during the extremely cold winter."

In January, the police station received an emergency call one night. Two travelers from Qiqihar said their car was stuck in the snow, and they didn't know where they were.

"They couldn't provide much useful information regarding their location, and they just said they could see part of a tumbled-down brick wall," said Zhang. "I speculated as to their location just from that limited information and arrived within 10 minutes."

The two travelers were surprised by the fast response.

"They couldn't believe we would get there in such a short time and thought they would freeze to death," Zhang said.

With the large influx of tourists during summer and winter, the workload of the police officers increases, and a number of measures have been introduced to manage tourism better, said Qiu Qiaoshi, the political instructor at Beiji Border Police Station.

Last year, the police station introduced an annual star rating for the 99 family inns in Beiji Village, based on their sanitary conditions, safety and tourists' degree of satisfaction.

"Only three inns can receive the top three-star rating each year," said Qiu. "The certificates can help them attract more customers and also set a good example for others."

Shao Yingqi, 30, who owns a four-room family inn, was awarded a "Three-Star Family Inn" certificate in January.

"Many tourists book rooms in advance on the Internet," said Shao. "I tell them of issues they need to pay attention to, and I also recommend tour routes for them."

Shao's services are appreciated by visitors who bring her about 50,000 yuan ($8,000) every year.

"Winning their trust makes me happy," she said.

"We often keep in touch after they have left, and some customers even send me gifts."

 Border police form vital part of community

Police officers at Beiji Border Police Station come to rescue visitors from Qiqihar whose car became stuck in the snow in January.

(China Daily USA 02/18/2015 page6)