by Ko Lin
On-duty police officers in Taiwan can now walk into a restaurant and grab a meal-to-go while still dressed in uniform, reports said Thursday.
“Members of the nation’s police force can, effective February 4, buy lunch at a nearby restaurant dressed in uniform with a peace of mind,” according to the National Police Agency’s Facebook posting in the morning.
Although rules under the “Police Uniforms Act” does not stipulate relevant laws and administrative measures with regard to officers getting lunch in uniform, the nation’s law enforcers were often skittish for fear that the public would snap pictures and then file a citizen complaint against them for “slacking while on duty” – disciplines often affecting the scores on their performance report.
In most cases, officers would either bring their lunch from home or have it delivered to their respective precinct (or station). It has been widely known that some would even change into their civvies to get a hot meal-to-go during lunch break.
Contrary to the United States, officers on active duty could sit and dine at a restaurant during lunch hours, depending on their department policies and how far away from the station their patrol beat is.
“Police officers are humans, they have to eat too,” NPA Director-General Chen Kuo-en quoted on social media.
Complaints (including photos) filed by civilians against patrol officers getting lunch in uniform will no longer be processed effective February 4, 2016, the director-general announced.