TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 50-year-old woman at the scene of an accident took offense to police officers calling her "grandma," prompting the department to remind officers to use more respectful, age-neutral terminology when addressing members of the public.
On Thursday (June 16), the Facebook page NPAMEME uploaded a document from the Taichung City Police Department showing that a complaint was filed with the 1999 hotline on Dec. 24, 2021. According to the complaint, when police arrived at the scene of a car accident they addressed a 50-year-old woman as "grandma" on multiple occasions, asking questions such as, "Grandma are you OK?"
The women reportedly retorted, "I'm very fashionable, how can you call me grandma?" The woman then filed a complaint saying that police officers should have more "empathy." Furthermore, if they do not know the actual age of the other party, they should address them with a "relatively younger title."
The document was distributed to all police stations in the city announcing the department was adopting "customer relationship management" to improve the quality of service to people, reported Liberty Times. The first priority listed was the use of proper terminology when addressing individuals.
It then listed four titles that can be used. In the case of a young person, regardless of gender, who appears to be a student, the term to be used is "classmate" (同學). Young women should be referred to as "Miss" (小姐).
In the case of women who appear to be older, the term "Ms." (女士) should be used. As for men, with the exception of young students, they are to be addressed as "Sir" (先生).
Other terms such as "grandpa," "grandma," "young boy,""obasan," ojiisan," "uncle," "aunt, "elder sister," "little sister," etc ... are to be avoided. The document emphasized that officers should be careful to use appropriate titles "in order to avoid creating a bad impression with the public and to maintain the police force's image."
(Facebook, NPAMEME image)