Thu, Feb 20, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Presidential Office wants Humvee on night duty

By Peng Hsien-chun and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Presidential Office yesterday unveiled a set of proposed security measures for areas around the Presidential Office Building in the wake of last month’s truck crash, including having a military Humvee stationed at the building’s front gate every night.

“We have decided to take some preventive measures for the time being to tighten security in the area before any concrete, long-term security measures are rolled out,” Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said.

The measures included installing scores of 1 tonne concrete planters in front of the building and deploying a Humvee from the military police’s 211th Battalion at the front entrance at night.

“The Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongzheng First Precinct has also been instructed to conduct spot checks on Ketagalan Boulevard and step up patrols in the neighborhood at night,” Lee said.

The Presidential Office reached a consensus with the Taipei City Government and the National Security Bureau at a meeting on Friday last week to impose permanent traffic controls in the area at night.

The plans reportedly include closing off the three northbound left-turn lanes on Ketagalan Boulevard at 10pm, sealing off seven other lanes at midnight and shutting down the entire boulevard until 6am.

However, the proposal has unified Taipei City councilors across party lines in opposition to the measure, calling it a leap backward in Taiwan’s democratic development.

The Presidential Office has been working to beef up security since 41-year-old Chang Te-cheng (張德正) allegedly rammed his truck into the building’s front gate on Jan. 25.

Chang faces charges of attempted murder, attempted destruction of public property and obstructing the performance of public duties.

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