Ko questioned over transfer of 13 Taipei SWAT members
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.