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The police in Kaohsiung recently disguised themselves up as social workers and arrested 12 people, including a drug trafficking couple. Although the police considered themselves to have outsmarted and cracked down on the drug traffickers, this action has angered netizens from the social service field. They criticize the police for taking advantage of the marginalized family’s trust established by the dedication of the social workers, and worry this trust may collapse overnight.

China Times reports, the police officers, Qiu Shu-fen and Li Bang-hao, pretended to be social workers that were making a home visit. Once entering the house, the police officers revealed their identity and showed the warrant. Having found 0.45 grams of amphetamine, the police arrested the drug traffickers and the children in the house were transferred to the Social Affairs Bureau for counseling.

Apple Daily reports, fighting against crime was originally a good thing, but the behavior of the police posing as social workers has triggered critics to say that the police will drag down social workers. Netizens say it takes a long time for social workers to build trust, but it might have been ruined just because of solving one case. How will the social workers in charge of helping drug-related cases build up relationships with these marginalized families in the future?

In the conversation between social worker Liu Chun-wei and sub-lieutenant Li Bang-hao from the Kaohsiung City Police Department Criminal Investigation Group, Li says that posing as social workers was a makeshift without the superiors’ approval. He also says that according to the administrative regulations, similar behaviors do not require the acknowledgement of superiors.

Liu Chun-wei points out that disguising as social workers will lead to the rupture of trust. She asks the Kaohsiung City Police Department to issue a statement through the media, declaring that there will no longer be cases of posing as other professions during future investigations.

In response to the controversy, the Kaohsiung City Police Department Criminal Investigation Group has posted an apology on its Facebook fanpage on the morning of September 23, admitting that it was indeed wrong to conduct an investigation with police officers posing as social workers for the drug-trafficking case. They deeply apologize for the social worker that may encounter troubles during the home visits as well as for the people who may question the reliability of social workers in the future.

Translated by Vic
Edited by Olivia Yang