Ko ques­tioned over trans­fer of 13 Taipei SWAT mem­bers

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

Peo­ple First Party Taipei City coun­cilor Lin Kuo-cheng ( ) yes­ter­day ques­tioned Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) over the mass trans­fer of Taipei City Po­lice Depart­ment Spe­cial Weapons And Tac­tics Team mem­bers (TCPD SWAT,

). Dur­ing a Q&A ses­sion at the Taipei City Coun­cil yes­ter­day, Lin ques­tioned the mayor over lo­cal me­dia re­ports that 13 Taipei SWAT mem­bers have been trans­ferred to a spe­cial air­port se­cu­rity and coun­tert­er­ror­ism squadron of the Avi­a­tion Po­lice Bureau (APB, ). Re­port­edly, the unit is still in the process of be­ing set up and does not yet have an of­fi­cial English ti­tle.

Some lo­cal re­ports have also claimed that the trans­fers were as a re­sult of over­work­ing and the po­ten­tial pres­sure that SWAT team would be put un­der as elec­tion sea­son draws close.

The mass trans­fer marks the first time in the SWAT team’s 26 years where more than 10 mem­bers have left all at once, cre­at­ing a per­son­nel vac­uum in the un­der­re­sourced team.

Yes­ter­day, Lin asked the mayor to an­swer why 13 out of 60 SWAT team of­fi­cers have de­cided to leave Taipei and im­plored Ko to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion as a pri­or­ity.

Ko said that he did not know about the trans­fers, though he will look into it ur­gently.

Taipei City Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Chiu Feng-kuang ( ) said that he re­spects the ca­reer choices of in­di­vid­ual of­fi­cers.

The TCPD SWAT unit has also said mem­bers have re­sponded to a rare op­por­tu­nity when the APB ad­ver­tised for of­fi­cers this year.

The unit also said that SWAT mem­bers are re­quired to re­tire by 45, while the APB does not have an en­forced re­tire­ment age.

Ko to Re­lay Po­lice Short­age Is­sue

to Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment

Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party Taipei Coun­cilor Wang Shi­hchien ( ) also ques­tioned Ko on po­lice is­sues, ad­dress­ing the precinct con­sol­i­da­tion pro­gram planned by the Ko ad­min­is­tra­tion. Wang said many bor­ough chiefs and their con­stituents have op­posed the pro­gram and asked the mayor to lis­ten to those in op­po­si­tion.

Wang also en­cour­aged the mayor to in­crease po­lice man­power, in­stead of im­ple­ment­ing poli­cies such as the mayor’s re­cent de­ci­sion to re­move 27 re­spon­si­bil­i­ties from TCPD, as such de­ci­sions do not do much to help the man­power short­age prob­lem.

The mayor said that he and his staff will reeval­u­ate the sit­u­a­tion, and will re­lay the prob­lems to the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to ask for re­in­force­ments if nec­es­sary.

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