Senior cop turns on Seoul police chief

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Senior cop turns on Seoul police chief


Chae Soo-chang

The commanding officer of a police precinct in Seoul demanded the resignation of the chief of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency to take responsibility for torture in a police station.

“The burden of responsibility is heavy on the police officers who tortured [suspects] at Yangcheon police precinct,” said Chae Soo-chang, senior superintendent of the Seoul Gangbuk police precinct, referring to recent torture allegations. “But much of the blame also lies in the hands of the commanding officers at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. Commissioner Cho Hyun-oh should take responsibility and resign.”

Chae argued at a press conference late yesterday at his precinct that the police currently assigns positions and gives promotions based on a points system, and “not how the police officers respect the law and human rights.”

The senior superintendent warned that the Yangcheon torture as well as the case in which a child rape victim was taken to a crime scene instead of a hospital despite profuse bleeding will “repeat themselves if a new administration does not come in and change the nature of this organization.”

“I too will reflect on my mistakes and resign with Cho,” Chae said.

In response, Cho called an emergency meeting, lacerated the superintendent and fired him. “This act of cutting down the morale of my men is intolerable,” said Cho, comparing Chae’s demand to “dumping cold water” on efforts to “uplift police morale.”

An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said that the performance point system is vital and “should not be abolished because it puts people, whether in public or private service, to work.”

“Satisfaction from the public on security shows our true performance points,” continued the official. “The system is not there just to count arrests.”

However, a source in the Seoul Police told the JoongAng Ilbo of a police officer who called the police hotline, and also answered the dispatch himself to raise his emergency call response points.

Chae was dismissed from his position yesterday afternoon by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for his “display of extreme dissatisfaction that was an act of discipline deterioration violating the organization’s chain of command.”

The Gangbuk police precinct had the lowest performance marks in Seoul during the past four months.

By Kim Seung-hyun, Christine Kim []
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일선 경찰서장의 ‘하극상’ 파문

28일 서울경찰청의 총경급 간부는 “군(軍)의 쿠데타와 같은 어처구니없는 사건이 벌어졌다”고 말했다. 채수창(사진) 서울 강북경찰서장(총경)이 자신의 지휘관인 조현오 서울경찰청장에게 공개적으로 사퇴를 촉구한 것이 그만큼 충격적이라는 얘기다. 조 청장을 비롯한 서울경찰청 지휘부는 ‘조직에서 뒤처진 중간관리자의 돌출행동’이라며 사태 수습에 나섰다. 하지만 파문은 확산될 전망이다. 특히 경찰조직의 동요가 다른 공직사회로 확산되는 것 아니냐는 우려의 목소리가 나오고 있다. 지난 1월 8일 취임한 조 청장은 경찰의 인사와 업무 전반에서 과감한 개혁 드라이브를 내걸었다. 일각에서는 “현 정부의 트레이드 마크인 ‘성과주의’에 대한 공무원 사회의 피로감이 반영된 것 아니냐”는 지적도 나오고 있다.

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