Gen Prabowo strives for better, humanistic and professional police

Gen Prabowo strives for better, humanistic  and professional police

National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo. (ANTARA/HO-National Police Public Relations Division/am/uyu)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo has persistently remained committed to making the institution and its personnel better and more professional and humanistic.

It must be admitted that despite Prabowo being highly responsive to several infamous incidents involving the institution, he has acted pertinently.

For instance, the assigned police’s overreaction in dealing with a farmer named Suroto holding up a poster to complain about the soaring price of chicken feed amid President Joko Widodo’s working visit to Blitar City, East Java Province, on September 7, 2021.

Later, the farmer was invited to hold a discussion with the president on September 15, 2021, to solve the problem.

Another incident was the arrest of 10 college students, who expressed their aspirations through banners when President Widodo paid a visit to the Sebelas Maret University in Solo City, Central Java Province, on September 13, 2021.

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Responding to the incidents, the police chief issued Telegram Letter Number STR/862/IX/PAM.3/2021 on September 15, 2021, addressed to the heads of regional police across Indonesia.

The letter urged personnel to maintain any working visit agenda in a humanistic manner without being too reactive.

If the public gather to deliver their aspirations – as long as the activity is not against the law -- the police is only tasked with preparing a space for the group and monitoring them to ensure the activity runs in an orderly manner.

The general also responded positively when the public highlighted the alleged case of assault on children in East Luwu District, South Sulawesi Province

The public had demanded to reopen the case that had been closed.

The National Police Headquarters sent the Police Criminal Investigation Department Assistance Team to assist the regional police in the legal process of the alleged case.

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Firm actions

Not only giving directives, General Prabowo also took firm actions against his staff members found to be unprofessional.

The National Police Headquarters transferred Percut Sei Tuan Sector Police Chief Adjunct Commissioner Janpiter Napitupulu to serve as the North Sumatra Regional Police Headquarters service officer in connection with the abuse that occurred at Gambir Market.

A merchant named Liti Wari Iman Gea was beaten by thugs at the market on September 5, 2021. However, she was made a suspect despite being the victim in the alleged case.

Other mistreatments were reported on October 13, 2021. In Tangerang District, a police officer slammed a demonstrator onto the ground, while a Deli Serdang Resort Police Traffic Unit personnel assaulted a motorcycle rider.

Hence, on behalf of the National Police Chief, a Telegram Letter Number: ST/2162/X/HUK.2.8./2021 was issued on October 18, 2021, comprising 11 ways of conduct.

One of them orders to enforce the law firmly against personnel that commit excessive violence against civilians and ensure that the case is handled fairly and transparently in line with the procedure.

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In addition, the police should uphold human rights while conducting its duty in accordance with the National Police's professional code of ethics and National Police Chief Regulation Number 1 of 2009.

Furthermore, while giving a directive through a video conference at the National Police Headquarters on October 19, 2021, the National Police chief instructed his staff and the head of the regional corps unit to punish any officer found violating the rules without further ado.

"Strict action is required, so please immediately dismiss the personnel and carry out the legal proceeding. The punishment will set an example for others,” he emphasized.

He noted that disrespectful actions committed by police officers cannot be tolerated.

Apart from reducing public confidence in the institution, it is also unfair to the personnel, who have worked hard to maintain the good image of the police.

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Open to criticism

Since being sworn in as the national police chief on January 27, 2021, he had echoed his commitment to making the institution professional and humanist and stressed that his staff should be open to public criticism to make the national police better.

The commitment was demonstrated through the implementation of the 2021 Bhayangkara Mural Festival as a forum for the people to freely express their opinions and ideas.

Prabowo invited the participants to deliver any positive or negative criticism regarding the National Police through the event.

The institution’s seriousness in realizing the commitment was also apparent during the visit of the Profession and Internal Affairs Division Head of the National Police Headquarters Inspector General Ferdy Sambo to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

Amid the visit conducted on October 19, 2021, he told the commission that the police is open to any inputs from any party to internally improve the institution.

He spoke of being ordered by the National Police Chief to hold a meeting with Komnas HAM to strengthen its supervision of the police’s performance on the human rights aspect.

On the same occasion, Sambo informed the commission of the progress in handling several infamous alleged assault cases committed by police personnel.

He also ensured the police's commitment to respecting the freedom of press in Indonesia in all forms of journalistic products.

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The National Police Chief’s policies have drawn praises from several quarters.

Speaker of Commission III of the Indonesian House of Representatives Sarifuddin Suding assessed that Prabowo’s outlook reflected his seriousness in making the police more professional and fairer.

Thus, the attempt should be lauded and supported by the community.

Commissioner for Monitoring and Investigation of the Komnas HAM Mohammad Choirul Anam also lauded the policies while affirming that they reflected good spirit that had to be respected and supported.

In addition, he believes that by and large, the police's internal supervision had been getting better. The prosecution of members found violating the regulation was not only limited to an ethics trial but also legal action.

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Moreover, the handling of cases reported by the commission has increased.

The community expects that the improvements in the National Police would run sustainably and offer real impacts for the public, as deeds are certainly better than words.

It is hoped that former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid’s joke about there being only three honest policemen -- the former National Police Chief General Hoegeng Imam Santoso, the policeman statue, and the speed bump (in Indonesian it is called ‘polisi tidur’ or ‘sleeping policeman’) -- will no longer apply.

However, the transformation will take time and cannot be done in an instant, thereby requiring our firm support.

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