Thu, May 01, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taipei City forcing worn-out police to stage dance: officer

By Wu Liang-yi and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taipei police officers say they are worn out lately because they have been forced to juggle their field duties with dance practice in preparation for a performance at a sporting event for Taipei City Government employees and their families on Saturday.

A police officer told the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on condition of anonymity that the local government has instructed the city’s police departments to mobilize 360 officers and their families to attend the event.

In addition to their mandatory attendance, the police officers are being made to stage a dance performance and a cheerleading routine at the event, the officer told the newspaper.

“We are exhausted after the [Sunflower] movement last month and the ongoing anti-nuclear protests. Asking us to practice dance moves after work is just too much,” the officer said, adding that they and their colleagues spend several hours a day rehearsing for the show.

“We feel so drained every day, but no one dares defy the city government’s orders,” the officer said.

The officer said that the Taipei City Police Department recently canceled a shooting and arrest-simulation training session due to the ongoing protests, but could not call off the sporting event because the city government thought it was a good opportunity to “increase unity among the police force.”

In response to the local government orders, the department’s Training Division said it would “take into consideration employees’ need to take compensatory leave and their willingness [to attend the event].”

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