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More cops to make Guangdong safer
( 2004-01-05 11:39) (China Daily by Zheng Caixiong)

The capital of Guangdong Province plans to recruit at least 4,500 new police officers within three years.

The move is driven, in particular, by the rise in organized crime in the city.

At least 1,000 new officers will be recruited this year.

In Shenzhen, another major metropolis in the province, more than 1,000 new officers will be recruited.

And at least 5,000 assistant police officers will also be recruited in major cities across the province this year.

Most of the new officers will be sent to work in anti-crime frontlines, an official from Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security said.

Other major cities, including Zhaoqing, Shantou, Zhongshan, Foshan and Dongguan also plan to recruit new officers this year.

Candidates will come from around the country, the official said.

Ex-servicemen and graduates of police colleges and schools will be given top priority.

Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security is also considering upgrading its weapons and equipment this year.

New equipment, including police helicopters, anti-chemical warfare vehicles, riot tanks –which can operate in both land and water?and satellite telecommunication equipment will be put to use in the fight against crime in the southern Chinese province which borders Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Guangdong has two police helicopters which went into use last year.

Meanwhile the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security is seeking to establish a new and cleaner image.

Liang Guoju, director-general of the bureau, urged police to improve their relationships with local residents.

To this end, more than 7,600 officers were trained during the second half of 2003.

Liang himself has given lectures to public security bureau chiefs and their deputies.

And 37 police who failed to pass examinations have been dismissed from the police squad while another 26 county-level public security bureau chiefs, deputies or political commissioners have been removed from their posts since June.

In previous years, Liang said his bureau's operations were shrouded in mystery and some police officers?bad behaviour seriously jeopardized the bureau's reputation.

Liang urged police to draw a lesson from the Sun Zhigang incident.

Sun, a university graduate from Hubei Province, was beaten to death last year when he was taken to a local rescue station in Guangzhou only because he could not provide his identity card.

A total of 23 people, including six local civil servants, guilty of beating Sun to death, received death penalties or terms of imprisonment ranging from three years to life.

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