Taoyuan magistrate calls for improved metro safety

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Taoyuan Magistrate Wu Chih-yang urged the central government Friday to formulate a comprehensive plan to improve traffic safety on metro lines after a knife-wielding attacker went on a stabbing spree aboard a Taipei metro train May 21, killing four people and wounding 24 others. Wu made the remarks in view of the fact that a new metro line serving the Taiwan Taoyuan nternational Airport runs through Taipei and New Taipei. He also urged the National Police Agency (NPA) to review its handling of incidents and its performance in maintaining security on the country's rail systems. Wu suggested that after the airport metro comes into effect by the end of next year, anti-terrorist police should be deployed at metro stations, while metro drivers and staff should be given personal protection training. The magistrate also said he will ask for an increase in the number of police officers in the metro system. According to Taoyuan County Police Bureau chief Lee Wen-ming, the county currently has a shortage of 248 police officers and is seeking more staff to meet increasing demand once the county is upgraded to become Taiwan's sixth special municipality late this year. (By Chiu Chun-chin, Bien Chin-feng and Evelyn Kao)