Mon, Jun 23, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Super cop shines as new commissioner

THE BIG PROMOTION Having captured the nation's attention during his role as the top negotiator in the Chen Chin-hsing hostage crisis, Hou You-yi is moving on

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Newly appointed Criminal Investigation Bureau chief Hou You-yi waits for the swearing-in ceremony to begin yesterday.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

For the 70,000 police officers in Taiwan, Hou You-yi (侯友宜) is the man of the week after he became the youngest-ever commissioner of the country's National Police Administration's (NPA) Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Thursday.

The commissioner's position is only open to those who have achieved the rank designated by three stripes and three stars insignia -- which is the second-top rank a police officer can achieve. The top-ranking position is the director-general of the NPA, which is designated by three stripes and four stars.

The former NPA Public Relations Department Director Wang Lung (王隆), who took over Hou's previous position as the chief officer of the Taoyuan County Police Department, is five years older than Hou and joined the force six year before Hou did.

The 46-year-old super cop's success did not take place for nothing. Throughout Hou's 23-year career, he has been through many life-threatening situations.

In addition, his humble attitude has earned him a great reputation among his fellow officers.

Regarding his career, he said, "I just always happened to be in the right place at the right time and did what I was supposed to do. That is all." When he passed the Joint College Entrance Exam in 1976, Hou, a native of Chiayi County, had a chance to become a junior high school teacher because he gained admission to the Industrial Education Department of the National Taiwan Normal University (國立師範大學).

However, he decided to become a freshman at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Central Police University (CPU) instead because, he said, he loves to spend his time investigating crimes and helping innocent people.

In 1980, Hou graduated with the honor of not having missed a single day of class throughout his four-year study in college.

"To receive such an honor at CPU, the student must not get sick or quit any required training courses, whether the course work is physical or academic, during his four years at school. It's a rare honor indeed," said Lieutenant Lee, a division captain at the CPU.

Hou was assigned to the Taipei City Police Department's Criminal Investigation Corp (CIC) as a division leader right after he finished school. In 1986, he was promoted to section chief there. Two years later, he was transferred to the city police's Chungshan Precinct -- a precinct with the nickname of "the No. 1 precinct in Taiwan" because of its proximity to a great number of hostess bars, as the precinct's Criminal Investigation Section chief.

In 1990, he became the deputy chief of the CIC. Two years later, he was transferred to CIB as an inspector there. In 1995, he officially took the chief officer's office of the city police's Criminal Investigation Division. In 1998, he was promoted as the deputy commissioner of the CIB. In 2001, he became chief of the Taoyuan County Police Department.

Hou became well-known after he arrested Liang Kuo-kai (梁國愷), a notorious gangster, murderer and most-wanted fugitive, in 1984.

In 1990, he arrested another notorious gangster and murderer Hu Gwan-bao (胡關寶), who had murdered two military guards in Hsinchu and kidnapped Taishin Financial Holding Co Chairman Eric Wu (吳東亮).

Hou successfully talked Hu into confessing to the crimes and divulging the location of a buried rifle, which was a key piece of evidence.

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