Tue, Jul 20, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet mulls draft amendment to compensation law

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

In a bid to better take care of law enforcement officers and the families of those who die or are seriously injured in the line of duty, the Cabinet is mulling draft amendments to the Statute Governing the Management of Law Enforcement Officers (警察人員管理條例), which it is scheduled to approve tomorrow.

The Cabinet would like to earmark a budget to pay for the medical and living expenses of law enforcement officers who are partially or fully handicapped in the line of duty and lose their ability to make a living until their death.

It is estimated that such monthly expenditures will cost between NT$7,000 and NT$40,000 per person.

The Cabinet would also like to earmark a budget to pay for the education expenses of the children of law enforcement officers who die in the line of duty until the children become of age or finish their college education.

Currently, there are about 60 children nationwide who would meet this requirement.

The draft would also add a new article that allows law enforcement officers who lose their lives, suffer from injuries or are handicapped in the line of duty to receive additional compensation money, on top of a fund of up to NT$3 million mandated by a different law.

According to the Regulation Governing the Issuance of Compensation Funds to Civil Servants Injured or Killed in the Line of Duty (公務人員因公傷殘死亡慰問金發給辦法), civil servants or their families who received compensation money from the fund are banned from receiving other subsidies for the same cause.

Statistics made available by the National Police Administration show that between May 2000 and May this year a total of 892 families of law enforcement officers who were either killed or injured in the line of duty have received consolation money.

The Central Personnel Administration had originally planned to amend the Statute Governing the Management of Law Enforcement Officers to allow low-ranking law enforcement officers who lose their lives in the line of duty to be eligible for a lump-sum or annual pension on a par with the highest-ranking police officers.

The proposal, however, was vetoed by the Ministry of Civil Service under the Examination Yuan -- the supervisory body of the nation's civil servants -- during a negotiation session between the two agencies.

The Cabinet is scheduled to approve the draft during tomorrow's weekly Cabinet meeting, and send it to the extraordinary legislative session for further review. The session might begin on Aug. 12.

The legal provision came after a police shootout with suspected kidnappers in Taichung on June 16, which left two police officers dead.

Following the shootout, the Cabinet has approved tightening gun-control regulations. Under the draft amendments to the Statute Regulating Firearms, Ammunition, Knives and Other Deadly Weapons (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), penalties for those possessing homemade or remodeled firearms, including replica guns, would increase.

Unauthorized persons selling or leasing firearms or remade firearms would be subject to a jail term of at least five years and a fine of up to NT$10 million.

The Cabinet is also mulling to overhaul the penal code to raise the threshold for probation from the 15 years to 30 years and further to 40 years for recidivists.

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