Tue, Aug 06, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Getting hit by drunk driver prods former officer into politics

By Chen Hsin-yu and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Former police officer Chen Chao-hung walks through Chinese Culture University in New Taipei City on Sunday.

Photo: Chen Hsin-yu, Taipei Times

A former police officer whose right leg was amputated after he was hit in 2016 by an unlicensed, drunk driver will run as an independent candidate representing New Taipei City’s first electoral district in January’s elections, he said on Sunday.

Chen Chao-hung (陳昭宏), who would represent the city’s Shihmen (石門), Sanjhih (三芝), Tamsui (淡水), Bali (八里), Linkou (林口) and Taishan (泰山) districts, said he hopes to be a voice for police rights and traffic safety.

Although still unable to forgive the drunk driver — a mother of two children who had previously been convicted of drunk driving — he was deeply thankful to the police and his community for their support, Chen said.

Community donations helped him tremendously during his nine operations and the rehabilitation process, he said, adding that as most of his expenses were covered by insurance and a court settlement, he donated some of the money to charity.

When he returned to his police duties, Chen said that his energy level was often too low to spend an extended period on patrol and he frequently had to request time off.

“Thanks to the tolerance and kindness of my colleagues and superior officers, I was able to make up for my absence from patrols by taking over desk duties,” Chen said, adding that while he was adapting to using a prosthetic, he requested a leave of absence without pay so that he would not be a burden to other officers.

In June, when Chen became a graduate student in the Department of Law at Chinese Culture University, he also began visiting borough wardens throughout the electoral district.

Chen said that he preferred to communicate and interact with the public in the “most economical and most sincere” way, instead of setting up a campaign headquarters.

Asked what his family thought of his political ambitions, Chen said that they neither supported nor opposed his decision to run.

“If I channel my energy into getting my life back to normal, I think they will not suffer or feel at a loss anymore,” he said.

Chen said he supports amending Article 228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法) so that investigations would be conducted jointly by police and public prosecutors, similar to the Japanese system.

Chen said that he would also work to make the Port of Taipei into a logistics leader and push for larger hospitals in Shihmen and Sanjhih districts.

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