Police superintendent calls for Seoul police chief’s resignation

Posted on : 2010-06-29 12:17 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
The senior superintendent says that the current SMPA command has incited competition among officers by unreasonably focusing on results
 senior superintendent of the Seoul Gangbuk Police Station
senior superintendent of the Seoul Gangbuk Police Station

A senior superintendent of a police station in Seoul has made waves after demanding the resignation of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency Commissioner Cho Hyun-oh. The senior officer claimed that the torture and abuse at Yangcheon Police Station was the result of the police command’s unreasonable focus on results. As public criticism of the police command by a senior superintendent-level officer is unprecedented, it appears the controversy over the investigation into police torture is expanding into internal division within the police.

Chae Soo-chang, 48, senior superintendent of Gangbuk Police Station, told reporters Monday that the torture at Yangcheon Police Station was just as much the fault of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) command as the officers involved since they have incited competition for results among officers that has resulted in such acts.

“As long as the current results-focused leadership remains in place, similar incidents to what happened at Yangcheon Police Station will continue,” said Chae. “I call on the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency commissioner, who is responsible for creating this organizational culture, to resign.”

Chae also said that he felt responsible as a police station chief for being swayed by the command’s pressure for arrests and demanding unconditional results from his officers. He said he would resign as police chief. Chae also said that after being berated for his lack of arrests, he changed his position, tell his men that they should get out of their cars and focus on catching thieves. Explaining his reasons for resigning, he said he was ashamed of the last month, in which he pressured his men to tell him how many suspects they caught during the previous night, and he apologized to his officers who “struggled in the field.”

A member of the first graduating class of the Korea National Police University, Chae served as chief of police in Gimje, Jeollabuk Province and chief of the Soeul Metro Transit Police before becoming chief of Gangbuk Police Station in March 2009. In the latest four-month performance review, Gangbuk Police Station finished at the bottom, and because of this, Chae has his station have been under intense inspection by SMPA. In regards to this, SMPA Commissioner Cho said Gangbuk Police Station had been posting worsening results from last year, and this year, they hit the bottom. He said since the people of Gangbuk would suffer from these results, he could not stand by and do nothing.

Chae, however, stated in response to the Gangbuk Police Station’s poor arrest numbers, that he was not ashamed because his work ethics focused on taking care of local residents. He said the principle of the Criminal Procedure Code was that rather than catch ten criminals, not one individual should be wrongly victimized.

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

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