Eighth Army officials visit Seoul police headquarters
November 4, 2011
SEOUL, South Korea, Nov. 4, 2011 -- Eighth Army law enforcement officials got a first-hand look at the headquarters of one of the world's largest metropolitan police forces here Nov. 4.
As a part of an alliance-building visit, Eighth Army Provost Marshal Col. Jimmy Mcconico and other senior U.S. military police officials visited the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency Headquarters near the presidential place in Seoul.
Mcconico said the visit gave the Army law enforcement officials the chance to view the capabilities of the police force that protects the more than 10 million people who live in Seoul. More than 1 in 5 South Koreans live within the SMPA's jurisdiction.
"[This visit] is a step toward building a better relationship," said Mcconico. "It's a step toward demonstrating that we're all on the same team."
During the two-hour tour, the Eighth Army officials visited Seoul's 112 Center -- similar to a U.S. 911 call center. In South Korea, 119 is the phone number that is used for fires and medical emergencies and 112 is used for crimes. The SMPA dispatchers in the call center answer an average of 7,500 calls a day.
The Soldiers then visited the traffic control center where police monitor cameras that provide an unblinking eye over the entire city, from its ancient alleyways to its modern motorways. The cameras can zoom from the top of a building down to a license plate number in seconds.
At the headquarter's state-of-the-art laser firing range where Seoul police officers hone their marksmanship skills, the Soldiers put simulated rounds on target in a friendly shooting competition. Sgt. 1st Class Theodore McCall won a special SMPA watch for shooting an 87.
"We learned a lot about the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and their capabilities," said Mcconico. "We look forward to a continued strong partnership."
During the visit, Mcconico recognized SMPA Police Inspector Moon An-sik, the Eighth Army liaison officer, for his efforts to support U.S. Soldiers in Korea.
Joe Sellen, the chief of the Eighth Army Civil Military Operations Coordination Center, said the visit was part of an on-going effort to strengthen relationships between Eighth Army leaders and South Korean civic and military leaders.
"This allows us to exchange ideas," said Sellen, "and build our relationships."