We’re Cops And We’re Nice, Says New Name

By webadmin on 10:01 pm Jan 27, 2010
Category Archive

Farouk Arnaz

They are not quite asking for a hug, but the Indonesian National Police are trying
to cultivate a more user-friendly image by abandoning the use of
terminology associated with the military.

The first step is a friendlier name for the head office.

“As
soon as possible we will change the term National Police Headquarters
to National Police Head Office, which sounds more civilian,” National
Police Chief Detective Ito Sumardi said Wednesday while inaugurating a
new media and complaint center. “And the Provincial Police Headquarters
will be changed to Provincial Police Regional Offices.”

For
more than three decades under the Suharto regime, the role of
Indonesia’s National Police was overshadowed by the military, which the
dictator used as a tool to maintain power.

During that era,
the National Police were integrated into the armed forces under the
Ministry of Defense, and the force was overseen by an Army general. As
such, the police were obligated to use military procedures and
techniques.

One goal of post-Suharto reforms was to separate
the security forces according to their general objectives — the
military’s job is national defense; the police tend to domestic
security.

Ito also asked the public on Wednesday not to focus solely on negative stories about the police.

“Please don’t judge us as unprofessional just because a few of our 400,000 officers make mistakes,” Sumardi said.

“There
are so many good officers who work without even thinking of themselves.
At this moment, my anti-terror teams are trying to catch terror
fugitives in East Java and Sulawesi,” he said, declining to elaborate.