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'Snub' of police officers who helped catch fugitive stirs controversyBy Yoon Min-sik
Published : Nov. 10, 2023 - 14:00
A police commendation process following the arrest of escaped criminal Kim Gil-soo has stirred up controversy, after it was discovered that two of the police officers who caught the fugitive were not properly awarded or recognized for their contributions.
The National Police Agency on Tuesday granted special promotions to Sgt. Lee Seon-ju of Uijeongbu Police Station and Senior Officer Kim Min-gok of Anyang Dongan Police Station for their role in Kim’s arrest the day before. Lee had closely followed one the fugitive’s acquaintances and requested operators to track his location based on a phone call he made to the said acquaintance, while Officer Kim confirmed the location.
But only two of the four officers who actually chased Kim down and arrested him were recognized with the NPA commissioner general’s award.
Multiple anonymous posts criticized the police for this reported oversight on the NPA's page on Blind -- an app for anonymous forum and community discussions for verified employees of various industries.
“If anyone is promoted, it should be someone who risked getting attacked and arrested (the criminal),” said one user.
“I don’t want to underestimate the contribution of the officers who got promoted. But the (police leadership) can’t treat field officers like that. I hope they will distinguish between jobs that risk lives and those that do not,” wrote another.
Uijeongbu Police Station said the police recognized their contributions, but they were only allowed to recommend a certain number of people to the NPA and decided Lee and Kim played a bigger role. Lee, in particular, formed a relationship with the fugitive’s acquaintance that allowed her to closely track the acquaintance, it said.
The Uijeongbu Police Station added that it plans to reward the other two officers who did not get commended with the NPA award.
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