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Personnel reform to increase frontline policemen
By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-20 08:51

SHENZHEN: Policemen shuffling paper in offices may no longer be treated as policemen if a proposal to reform the personnel system is adopted by Shenzhen.

According to the suggestions made by the Shenzhen People's Political Consultative Conference, office workers in the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau will be remunerated and promoted the same way as civil servants or government contract workers.

The reform aims to encourage more policemen to join frontline work, amid complaints that street patrolling officers face greater danger but receive the same pay as those working in offices.

"The proposal is definitely good news for the city," said Wang Yongli, a senior official with the Shenzhen Public Security Bureau.

While the increase in the number of frontline officers will make the city safer, the reform will also help trim redundant personnel, reduce expenditure and improve efficiency, he said.

Taxpayers' money is better used because frontline police officers are compensated for the dangerous work they do, he added.

The reform is also expected to increase promotion opportunities for frontline officers.

"It seemed to me that policemen in offices had more chances of promotion than us," said Ke, a patrol policeman.

He believes that the police are not short-handed but that human resources are inefficiently distributed.

"To protect the public, we need more policemen to get out of office, go to the community and patrol the streets," said Ke.

According to the personnel department of the municipal government, the reform will increase the number of frontline policeman by 20 per cent.

Shenzhen has a serious social security problem due to the large transient population - almost half the people living in the city are not long-term residents. In July, a total of 8,747 crimes were reported, including 3,022 robberies.

Nearly 400 million yuan (US$48.37 million) has been injected and 3,000 police officers deployed to the frontline to curb street crimes this year.

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