We’re pleased to announce that the Taipei City Police Department (TCPD) has just been given the 2010 Proggy Award for International Leadership in the Field of Humane Law Enforcement! This honor recognizes the TCPD’s recent decision to set up a team of special police officers dedicated to animal protection, letting government agencies throughout the region know that the pursuit and prosecution of cruelty-to-animals cases is a top priority.
In the past, the Taipei City Animal Protection Office was the only government agency handling cruelty cases. Unfortunately, bureaucratic hurdles prevented the agency from being as effective as the people of Taipei would have liked. In response to this, the TCPD announced the formation of the “animal police”; two officers from each city district’s criminal investigation division will be selected to receive special training in animal protection laws and animal control. These officers will then be dispatched to offices and police stations to train others on how to handle cruelty-to-animals cases. As the TCPD demonstrates, the law doesn’t turn a blind eye to the most vulnerable and defenseless victims—animals.
Why are cops concerned? People who abuse animals are often just getting started. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty against animals rarely stop there—many of them move on to their fellow humans.
The effectiveness of the law relies on its enforcement. With specially trained cops on the beat in the City of Azaleas, we’re hoping that abused animals will be rescued more swiftly, that crimes will be investigated more rigorously, and that animal abusers will be rightfully prosecuted. The TCPD has demonstrated to the rest of Asia that when it comes to animals, nobody is above the law.
By Agnes Tam