Law and order Bangkok: The midwife unit

Wow, and I thought Los Angeles traffic was bad. :o

“I signed up to be a policeman [11 years ago] because I wanted to go after bad guys,” the square-jawed officer says with a wry smile. “Instead, I often find myself delivering babies.”

As a member of a special traffic police unit patrolling the midtown zone, Sergeant Major Pichet has been trained to assist women in labor who get stuck in traffic en route to the hospital. His “baby beat” plays an important role in a city where some 6 million vehicles ply roads and streets every day, often taking hours to crawl a few miles.

Last year, 13 women gave birth in taxis, at bus stops, or on sidewalks, and 152 needed urgent help from police to get to a hospital delivery room on time. Pichet and his colleagues help them every step of the way. It’s a labor of love that not only addresses a real urban planning problem, but also fosters police-community relations – a boon for the entire police force, which has an image problem because of alleged human rights abuses and corruption.

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