Indonesian Police Face Random Drug Testing
Bayu Marhaenjati& Farouk Arnaz
Following the arrest of the fourth law enforcement member this year for drug use, police are stepping up their efforts to ferret out narcotics-abusing officers through methods such as surprise drugs tests.
In 2011, 18 members of the police force were found in possession of drugs. Already this year, a deputy director of the North Sumatra Police narcotics unit, a Bekasi subdistrict police chief and a police woman serving in South Jakarta have been caught.
Brig. S.S. was arrested in West Jakarta on Tuesday along with a civilian identified as I.H., Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, said on Wednesday.
A pack of 0.34 milligrams of crystal methamphetamine was found on the officer, Rikwanto added.
Riwanto said that in view of the spate of the arrests, the Jakarta Police will conduct urine tests for its personnel.
“We are planning for that, but they will not be held regularly. They will be surprise tests,” he said, adding that all units would be subjected to the test.
Several provincial police headquarters, including Bandung, have already begun testing their personnel for illegal drugs.
Rikwanto said that the National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo has already introduced a policy strengthening the police’s commitment to fighting drug use and trafficking.
“The leadership has issued a policy to eradicate narcotics externally and internally. The arrest of police members is proof of our commitment internally,” he said.
He said that all superiors were ordered to be closer to their subordinates and therefore be able to provide them advice and guidance as well as supervision.
“Narcotics is a global problem, not only a problem for Indonesia. Every year, those abusing [drugs] get caught and we act on them, but the number of users continue to rise,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said.
Saud said that police were now working to put in place measures that would prevent or deter drug use among the police force, including mandatory urine testing for new recruits and periodical tests on those officers in the field who are susceptible to drug use.
“We are also applying a stricter storage of narcotics evidence so that they do not get misused,” Saud added.
Police personnel found consuming drugs could face a disciplinary process, as well as dishonorable discharge and criminal charges, he said.
The latest arrest happened at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Rikwanto said.
“Patrol of the narcotics detective unit of the Cengkareng subdistrict police arrested two men, S.S. and I.H. They were arrested on Jalan Daan Mogot. The personnel had suspected them and had gone after them,” he said.
The pair, Rikwanto said, had been pursued by the police after they bought the drug in a West Jakarta neighbourhood known as a notorious drug haunt.
“After they were arrested, they underwent urine tests and the results were positive. The suspects admitted buying [the drug] in Kampung Ambon,” Rikwanto said.
The two are still being questioned about the incident.
“The investigators are still trying to find out how come they used the drugs, how long they have been using them and how much over what period of time,” Rikwanto said.
The suspects said they occasionally used drugs but were not involved in the drug trade.