Police to be stationed in every Taipei Metro station
Central News Agency
2014-05-23 09:43 PM
Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Police officers from precincts in Taipei and New Taipei were set to be permanently deployed at each of the Taipei Metro's 109 stations in a move to ensure "freedom from fear" as the nation continued to reel over the brutal Wednesday knife attack that left four dead and 24 injured. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin announced the new policy Friday, echoing President Ma Ying-jeou's calls for a safe public transportation network. The deployment is the result of coordination between the two cities, Hau said, but he did not specify when the new policy will go into effect. His comments were a response to questions over the incident at the Taipei City Council, where Democratic Progressive Party councilor Ho Chih-wei pressed the mayor, a member of the Kuomintang, on the metro's preparedness for Wednesday's attack and any potential future incidents. Ho also said the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC), which operates the metro, should make public the audio and video recordings from the incident, so that city councilors could ask questions to the municipal government based on all the facts. TRTC president Tan Gwa-guang said that since the case is still under investigation, the recordings can be provided only with judicial authorities' consent. The driver of the train in which police say 21-year-old college student Cheng Chieh went on a slashing spree Wednesday and the chief of Jiangzicui Station, where Cheng was apprehended, were taken off duty for three days and cannot currently be reached. The Legislative Yuan released a joint statement signed by all political parties calling for the National Police Agency to thoroughly reexamine and increase police deployments on metro systems, railways and airports Friday. President Ma said that he had instructed the Cabinet to increase the police presence on various public transportation systems to ensure freedom from fear for passengers. He said a day earlier that the unprecedented attack on a public transit system left him shocked and pained, expressing sorrow and extending condolences to the families of the victims. On Thursday, the Taipei Metro saw 1.785 million passengers, down 4.9 percent from the 1.877 million riders who took the system Thursday of last week, according to TRTC. It was not clear whether the decrease was due to safety concerns or other factors. A group of college students launched an activity Friday to spread friendliness among metro passengers. The activity, called "Trust Taipei (in English): Be Courageous and Take the Metro (in Chinese)" plans to raise funds to produce ten thousand T-shirts with the slogan "Citizen of Taipei." "Since it's impossible to put a police officer in every car, our goal is to make every passenger become a citizen who loves this city and defends this city," said Chou Kuan-ling, a student at National Taipei University and a representative of the Trust Taipei campaign. (By Huang Li-yun, Kelven Huang, Tai Ya-chen, Sophia Yeh, Chang Ming-kun and Kuo Chung-han)
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