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Police encouraged to use firearms in emergencies

Police were told Monday that there are situations when use of their weapons is appropriate.

The National Police Agency Commissioner-General Cho Hyun-oh said in a meeting of high-ranking officials that police officers are encouraged to use weapons such as pistols, tear gas guns and taser guns in situations including those taking place in police stations, especially if they threaten the authority of the police.

“People won’t accept a weak police officer. In case of drunkards or gangsters (who threaten lives), one needs to be bold enough to use the weapons,” Cho has reportedly said. He ordered police officers to always carry the gun, even in the office.

Cho’s comment came as a video clip was released last week showing a police officer running out of the office when a drunken man threatened officers with a knife. Cho has reportedly scolded the officers for not having used their weapans and said those who cannot handle firearms may be fired.

Cho said those who use firearms in reasonable situations will be exempt from punishment and the NPA will support them if they are sued by citizens.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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