Reform move shuffles police officers

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Reform move shuffles police officers

Seoul Metropolitan Police said yesterday that as many as 232 officers who took on crackdowns on sex trade businesses, night clubs and bars for more than a year have been transferred to other areas and shifted to different beats.

An official at the agency said the move does not target personnel who were embroiled in scandals but is a preventive measure “meant to sever potential corrupt ties between police officers and the businesses.” The official explained that the longer police officers are involved in such crackdown jobs, the higher the chance they would be offered bribes. Past bribery scandals have uncovered police officers who took money from night-business owners in return for lenient treatment during sting operations.

In another reform measure, Seoul Police assigned 103 police lieutenants who were deemed disruptive to other precincts.

“The transfer [of the 103 policemen] is to help the officers realize their situation and reflect on their actions,” the official said. “But if they are again listed on the shake-up reform plan, the next time they will face more severe disadvantages at work.”

In addition, the agency demoted the assignments of two senior officers who had shown a lack of discipline. The two will now work under the traffic safety and public safety division and do research projects.

“This is a warning to senior-level officials that they could also be on the shake-up list,” the official said. “Police gave the two officials research jobs to give them one more chance.”

In the reshuffle, Seoul Police gave priority to outstanding officers, allowing them to choose the areas in which they preferred to work.

By Kang In-sik, Kim Mi-ju []

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