D.C. Police Chief Burtell M. Jefferson is spending an all-expense-paid vacation this week in Taiwan on a personal consulting trip financed by the Taipei municipal police department.
The Taipei police department is paying more than $6,000 for air fare, hotel accommodation, meals and an interpreter for the chief and his fiance, Joan Humes, during their week-long stay.
Reached by telephone in Taipei, Jefferson said he is in Taiwan at the invitation of the Taipei police commissioner who asked him for advice on the Taipei police department's organization and various problems the department faces.
"There are certain situations in Taipei that are similar to D.C.," the cheif said in an interview from the Grand Hotel, where he is staying in a $110-a-night corner suite.
He noted similarities in traffic problems, population, the frequency of demonstrations and police organization. "The traffic is worse here than in the District," he said.
Jefferson said that since his department deals with demonstrations on a daily basis, he was able to give the 8,000-member Taipei police department advice on how to handle them.
"It's been a very enlightening experience." said Jefferson, who plans to leave Taipei tomorrow.
Jefferson, who earns $50,112 a year as D.C. police chief, said he is taking his annual paid vacation during the trip and that the trip is not costing the District government anything. Taipei officials said they are not paying Jefferson for his advice, other than to cover his expenses.
When reached yesterday, Jefferson had just returned from a dinner given in his honor by the mayor of Taipei, where he said he met several city officials. "This was something they did in apprecaition for the fact I came over here;" he said.
Kuo-Ching Wong, secretary of protocol for the mayor of Teipei, said Jefferson also was feted at a dinner given by the Taiwan minister of foreign affairs. He said the mayor met with Jefferson and his fiance in the mayor's office on Tuesday.
"I think he is a good man." said Wong. "he's a very nice man."
Wong said Jefferson had spent a great deal of time touring the city and visiting various sections of the police department.
On Wednesday, the police commissioner took Jefferson on a tour of the southern part of Taiwan, including the industrial city of Kaohsiung, an international seaport on the country's southwestern coast, and the city of Hualien.
Capt. Chung Hui Hu of the Taipei police department said Jefferson and his fiance would be taken on a tour of histoical sites today and also shown some of the country's scenery.
He said Jefferson was invited by the police commissioner to visist Taipei after the commissioner visted the District's police department last year.
Dr. William Chen, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, an umbrella group representing 21 merchants' groups in Washington's Chinatown community, said one of the 21 member organizations helped to arrange Jefferson's trip.
The police chief has been nice to the Chinese community," Chen said. "We wanted him to have a nice pleasure trip."
He said the merchants hoped to creatae further good will with the police chief as a result of the trip.
However, Jefferson denied that the District's Chinese community had any role in arranging the vacation.
Under District law, public officials are required to report gifts of $100 or more than they receive from any business which has contact with the District government. However, the Taiwan government, which is no longer recognized by the United States, apparently has no business relationship with the city government.
Alan Grip, Mayor Marion Barry's spokesman, said Barry "is not aware of the circumstances surrounding Chief Jefferson's vacation, except that he is on annual leave and had planned to take a trip to Taiwan."
Grip said when Jefferson returns the mayor will discuss with him the circumstances "under which the chief mayhave received any monies from any organization to defray his expenses. And if there are any improprieties, the mayor will deal with the chief appropriately." CAPTION: Picture, ORIENTAL HOLIDAY -- The mayor of Taipei, Taiwan, Ma Chenfang, shows a vase to D.C. Police Chief Burtell Jefferson and his fiance Joan Humes at a dinner the mayor gave in honor of the visiting chief, Taiwan is paying the $6,000 cost of the week's trip in return for Jefferson's consultation with Taipei police. Hu Wu-hsi, chief of Taipei police. AP for The Washington Post