A challenge for policeThe police investigation into kidnapped children in Anyang and a brutal assault on a child in Ilsan continues to concern people due to the police department’s dysfunctional management. Police failed to mobilize the system and they didd their dutyonly when criticized by politicians or higher authorities.
It was not the police but citizens who played a primary role in arresting suspects in the incidents in Anyang and Ilsan. Police had searched for the suspect by dispatching more than 10,000 officers over a period of 80 days, but their efforts were in vain. A man training with the army reserve discovered the body of one of the missing girls in Anyang, and that set a search in motion. In five days the culprit was arrested. The police would not have entered the investigation and arrested the suspect in Ilsan had it not been for the parents of the victim.
President Lee Myung-bak also played a big role in resolving these cases. In the Anyang case, police arrested the suspect the day after President Lee criticized the police precinct. As for the case in Ilsan, the suspect was arrested within six hours of his visit to the Ilsan police department. This can only mean that the police were fully capable of catching these suspects.
Each policeman should thoroughly reflect on whether he had enough of a sense of duty to the public.
Eo Cheong-soo, the commissioner general of the National Police Agency, announced comprehensive countermeasures against child kidnappings or missing children on March 26 when the Ilsan case occurred. Yesterday, the day after the suspect in the Ilsan case was arrested, police announced that it will form special investigation teams for missing people, with 1,056 police officers at precincts across the country.
Although the quick response is impressive, we have to examine whether the policy is realistic or was systematically produced by the organization.
Police should re-evaluate the system of releasing personal information on criminals, which proved ineffective in these recent cases. They should also discuss the possibility of using electronic bracelets for monitoring previous sex offenders with the Justice Ministry as early as possible.
We think the priorities of the police, who are supposed to be the symbol of public authority, lie in regaining the public’s trust.
We challenge police officers, especially their leaders, to reflect and improve themselves.