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June 29, 2017

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SWAT presence in metro unnecessary: MOI

Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) yesterday stated that utilizing SWAT officers to patrol the Taipei Metro with submachine guns is unnecessary. The Taipei City Police Department (TCPD) has also stated that changes are being implemented.

In hopes of boosting the confidence of the general public toward the Taipei MRT, the TCPD had mobilized the department's Special Weapons and Tactics Division (SWAT) to patrol the MRT with Heckler & Koch MP5 9mm submachine guns.

While attending an inquiry session at the Internal Administration Committee of the Legislative Yuan, Chen stated that using SWAT officers to patrol the MRT with MP5s is an unnecessary act.

Chen also said that though the current 160-strong Special Police support is only temporary, the Transit Department is seeking to increase in personnel numbers. Other suggestions such as the incorporation of the Taipei City Voluntary Police Battalion (臺北市義勇警察大隊) is also being considered in order to improve metro transit security Chen said.

The purpose of a security increase said Chen, along with the rate increase of visible police presence, are all parts of a strong security protocol, and as such, the government will further communicate with the Taipei City Government over further measures.

National Police Agency to Improve

National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) also responded to the necessity of the SWAT officers yesterday. Wang was quoted to have noted two opinions in the two days of the officers' service.

The general public feels that the SWAT officers are either too imposing or of no great influence at all, said Wang, who acknowledged the main concern being the danger of the MP5s. Wang stated that necessary improvements are under way, with the first change being the replacement of submachine guns with standard service pistols.

In response to local media reports of the Taipei City Government proposing to add an additional 80 stationary officers, Wang stated that the city government has yet to submit an official proposal if the reports are indeed true. However, said Wang, the central government does not have the officers to spare at this point.

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