Xavier Gosselin, the director of a documentary about Taiwan’s mounted police — which premiered in France last month — paid a visit to Greater Kaohsiung on Wednesday to salute Huang Mao-sui (黃茂穗), the inspiration for the project.
Huang, head of the Greater Kaohsiung Police Department, has earned the respect of many for establishing Taiwan’s first mounted police unit in New Taipei City and is known as the father of the nation’s mounted police.
In recent years, he also initiated training for and launched a mounted police unit in Greater Kaohsiung, despite having a yearly budget of only NT$4 million (US$133,000) to work with.
Overcoming obstacles and financial constraints, the mounted police unit in Kaohsiung has been proudly patrolling the city’s streets and scenic attractions, winning rave reviews and enhancing civic pride.
Some have said the program changed the city police’s macho image into one of friendly law enforcement officers on horseback.
Gosselin’s documentary focused on the time Huang served as the head of the New Taipei City police and launched the first mounted police unit.
Gosselin said Huang is the best spokesperson for Taiwan’s mounted police since he was the project’s guiding force from the start. Huang was able to provide information on the program’s genesis, its development and how it is being sustained.
The French director followed Huang and his training regime for more than two months, helping to bring the nation’s mounted police units into the international limelight.
“The mounted police units boost city patrols and public safety, and they also help tourism. They make citizens proud and forge a national identity,” Huang said.
Canada, the US, Japan and other countries have also got mounted police units, he said.
Greater Kaohsiung’s unit was invited by the Los Angeles Police Department to participate in a competition organized by the North American Police Equestrian Council in March.
Yen Ho-hsien (顏和賢), captain of the Greater Kaohsiung mounted police unit, was on duty while Gosselin followed their daily regime during his stay in Taiwan.
“Gosselin was with us through our daily round of duties, horsemanship training and street patrols. He filmed our activities and interviewed us so that the rest of the world can learn about our mounted police program, elevating Taiwan’s international profile,” Yen said.
“This documentary adds a new chapter to the history of Taiwan’s mounted police and helps to promote it to the younger generation,” Yen said. “We must thank Huang for his vision, his pioneering efforts and his determination to launch and sustain the program.”
“Endeavor and persistence drove us to carry on and make a contribution to society, thereby attracting international attention to Taiwan’s mounted police program,” Yen said.