Sun, Jul 17, 2005 - Page 8 News List

A mobilized community needed to stop crime

By Huang Yen-tung 黃炎東

After a fierce shootout, police finally caught a wounded Chang Hsi-ming (張錫銘) in Taichung County last Wednesday.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) immediately led a group consisting of Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and National Police Agency Director-General Shieh Ing-dan (謝銀黨) to Taichung to congratulate the arresting officers. The arrest of this high-profile criminal has set a benchmark for law enforcement in Taiwan, highlighting the police force's outstanding record, and also strengthening public confidence in the government's ability and determination to maintain social order.

In addition to our appreciation and encouragement to the team that worked so hard on this case, they illustrated well how it is everyone's responsibility to protect and maintain social order.

The success of this operation proves that cooperation between the police and the public is the best guarantee for maintaining social order. The handling of this case has deeply impressed how first-rate police education and training is the only way to prepare an elite police force to be capable of carrying out investigations in a scientific manner.

Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) detective Tang Jia-jen (唐嘉仁), who was wounded in the shoot-out with Chang and this gang, is an outstanding graduate from the Central Police University (CPU). At school, he received both academic and police training, emphasizing both skills and moral education. His professionalism as a police officer and his academic qualities are outstanding. He has won several national shooting competitions, was the National Games air-gun champion and was also a member of the national team in the Southeast Asia Shooting Championships.

All the other participants in this manhunt were of course also top choices for this case and the protection of social order, and their performance is highly appreciated.

Another important factor contributing to the successful completion of this manhunt was the fact that police and prosecutors cooperated fully to maintain social order. The investigation was complicated by the fact that Chang's criminal network used innovative methods and employed the latest technology and equipment to commit their crimes, escape and stay in contact with each other. They have also been adept at using the media, which seemed to rationalize the motives behind their crimes and created an image of them as being righteous criminals, thus winning public sympathy.

In addition to strengthening the training of police officers and modernizing equipment, I believe the government should also strengthen cooperation between police, the public and the media, because the law enforcement's reach is limited while the public's is not.

As society rapidly moves towards an environment with ever more sophisticated, international crime networks, crime prevention must become more community-based, with better contact between police and residents. In particular, local police departments should be given specific responsibilities and become more specialized. Manpower should be adjusted according to need, and officers should visit residents to better understand the community.

Increasing police visibility, creating more positive image of the police, winning the trust of residents, placing importance on people's feelings about the quality of police work and serving the public are the tasks for police.

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