Thu, Feb 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Presidential Office unveils short-term security measures

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

The Presidential Office yesterday announced a new set of short-term security enhancement measures for the areas surrounding the Presidential Office Building, amid Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) continued opposition to an earlier plan to seal off Ketagalan Boulevard at night.

“These measures were drawn up after the concerned government agencies took into account the nation’s security situation and any possible sources of security threats [to the building,]” Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said yesterday.

Lee also urged Hau’s administration to roll out its version of security measures by early next month.

The new measures involve boosting police presence in the areas around the building, installing early-warning systems, increasing surveillance and strengthening deterrents for biological weapons.

They include installing speed bumps, speedometers, and warning lights on roads around the Presidential Office Building and entitling security personnel to take “necessary defensive measures “ should a vehicle enter the surrounding area.

The office also plans to install license plate recognition and 3D image analysis systems at certain intersections nearby the building, in addition to beefing up security checks on visitors and mail packages to eliminate the possibility of biological weapons being smuggled into the building.

However, when asked by reporters whether “necessary defensive measures” included accounting for the firing of weapons, the office downplayed the matter, saying that: “Every situation will be handled in accordance with standard operating procedures.”

The unveiling of the measures marked the office’s latest effort to step up security after 41-year-old Chang Te-cheng (張德正) allegedly rammed his truck into the building’s front gate on Jan. 25.

The office earlier this month proposed closing off all of Ketagalan Boulevard from midnight to 6am to avoid a recurrence of an attack on the building, but that plan dismissed by Hau.

Taipei City Government Spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) reiterated Hau’s opposition to the plan yesterday, but added that the city government had held a meeting with the Department of Transportation, the Taipei City Police Department and the Public Works Department last week to discuss alternative security measures.

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