The Big Detail: Police Must Arrest Slide in Public Perceptions
The police have undoubtedly had a serious PR problem recently.
There’s the heavy crackdown on participants of the Third Papuan Congress in Abepura, Papua, which killed three people last year. Then there’s the shooting of protesters in Bima district, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).
Then there are the many cases of suspicious deaths of detainees in police custody, like the one in Sijunjung, West Sumatra.
So bad is this problem that two police informants in North Sumatra were mobbed and burned to death and a police station in Pekanbaru, Riau, was vandalized by about 50 teenagers. People have lost respect for the law and the officers enforcing it.
To make things worse, they have fired the Bollywood lip-syncing cop from Gorontalo, Norman Kamaru, who could have helped them polish their tarnished image. The police are in serious need of another next big thing.
There’s already the pretty traffic policewomen appearing every now and then on TV, telling viewers the latest traffic conditions. Then they introduced the “Handsome Cop,” Brigadier Saeful Bahri.
And then there’s the Anggrek Band, comprised of three members of the Police Mobile Brigade unit, that already has two songs on YouTube — “Merah Putih Indonesiaku” (“Red and White My Indonesia”) and “Penjahat Wanita” (“Female Criminal”).
There’s also the Policeline Band from Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, which garnered more than 10,000 viewers for its song “2 x 24 Jam I Miss U” (“2 x 24 Hours I miss U”).
Songs from both bands are mainly a plea to the public to not be so judgmental about cops. “Police are human too” goes one song from Anggrek Band. “We are here to serve you” goes the song from Policeline band.
But not all are convinced. One YouTube user posted a video in response showing how police handle a riot at a concert in Central Java.
At this point there is no say whether this is a systematic effort from the police to turn its image around or if the participating officers just looking to be the next Norman Kamaru.