Hau gives condolences, assures on security of metro
By Chi-hao James Lo, The China Post
May 23, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday responded to the metro attack on Wednesday, giving his condolences to the victims and reassuring the general public on MRT security.
In a press conference yesterday, Hau said that he does not wish to see the positive international image and repute Taipei Metro has built up over the years completely demolished by one isolated incident.
With a heavy tone, the mayor stated that the attack has caused widespread panic and distrust toward the MRT system, which is why he personally rode the MRT Bannan Line at 8:50 a.m. yesterday morning from Longshan Temple Station to inspect police deployment.
While conducting his inspection, Hau said that he could feel the tension and unease of the passengers. Reportedly, the mayor received passenger requests to equip the trains with self-defense utilities.
On the issue of security personnel shortage, the mayor went on to state that Director-General of the National Police Agency Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) has assigned 80 Special Police officers to assist in the security increase, while personnel expansion as requested by the mayor for the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei Police Department has received preliminary approval from Directorate-General of Personnel Administration Minister Frank Huang (黃富源).
During a question-and-answer session yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party City Councilor Chiang Chi-ming (江志銘) recommended the implementation of volunteer officers like that of England and other developed countries, to which Hau responded by saying that he will ask Taipei Police Commissioner Huang Sheng-yung (黃昇勇) to contact the Taipei City Voluntary Police Battalion for further discussion on the suitability of the proposal.
Taipei City Government to Take Care of Victims
Families of the four victims who passed away, said Hau, will be aided by The Taipei Mortuary Services Office and the Depart of Civil Affairs of the Taipei City Government, who are in charge of funeral-related issues. As for the injured, the mayor said that they will be contacted by the Department of Social Welfare, the Department of Heath and the Department of Civil Affairs who will assume full responsibility for medical expenses and both psychological rehabilitation and future medical care.
When questioned by media on whether counter-terrorism drills will be conducted on MRTs in the future, Hau responded by saying that such drills are conducted annually by the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation. Hau went on to elaborate that not only will drills continue in the future, but he has also requested responsible departments to upgrade the drills to be on par with international protocols, as well to as increase the frequency of the drills.