Eight years after its dispersal from Indonesia Armed Force (TNI), Indonesian National Police (Indonesia National Police) has not yet to be a professional police on democratic policing context yet. Police still committed violent practices, and it indicates that the institution has not yet finished its internal reform as institution. Any kind of Indonesia National Police problem, whether from internal and also external like oversight by internal, parliament, and public, educational practices in police academy, until the institution averse to sharing the police management with the local government. The article argues that the core problems are from the institution its self, the indolence of institution to response any problem, and the public hoping became a core of problem, why Indonesia National Police does not finish to internal reform yet. This article also offer the solutions that order to Indonesia National Police as internal security institution could be match with the agenda of democracy in Indonesia and also following democratic policing context, hopefully Indonesia National Police can expect to proof as professional and civilian police institution.

Indonesian National Police, democratic policing, police reform, political policy, public control


On 28 August 2007, Niasari, a pretty 16 year-old girl, a high school student from a small entrepreneur Indonesian Family, was shot on her head. Her body was found in a village office, Cibinong, Bogor West Java. The death of Niasari has made a controversy for Indonesia National Police; Head of Municipal Police said that Niasari was shot by the police intelligence officer, because Niasari want to taken over the motorcycle ride by the intelligence officer. Meanwhile the Head of Province Police of West Java was explained the police officer wanted to rape her, but the girl was pushed away, so that way, the police officer killed her with his gun. The different statements from two Police Officers about the same case would give us an assumption that police institution has not yet completed the transformation idea of civilian police in democratic policing context. Analyzes made by academic and NGOs indicated that Indonesia National Police reform just already in cover, for the moment, in internal police does not ready to be a civilian police yet. The reality supported the opinion that violent practices is still running, not only carried out by the Mobile Brigade–the special police as part of Indonesia National Police–but other departments in Indonesia National Police.
The above case will judge Indonesia National Police as security institution that does not really internalize the value of reformation, even though the real problem faced by Indonesia National Police is not always in touch with human right and civil liberty. This is a home work for the institution after eight year dispersed from the armed forces. Since it was found, Indonesia National Police roles are always full of militaristic approaches. They claim that Indonesia National Police is the only police institution in the world that fought for state’s independent with the people. That’s why; Indonesia National Police was often disposed as paramilitary institution.

It is no surprise, if Indonesia National Police behave like that. Since Indonesia National Police was formed in 1 July 1946, they usually served to the country the best way they can. The political and social dynamic didn’t disrupt the institution to develop and improve security in Indonesia. That’s why Indonesia National Police used all kinds of approaches including violence. In the time of history, Indonesia National Police position in the government has been dynamic. Allot of political event, since Indonesia got independent to challenge for Indonesia National Police. The political conflict, because the system was changed, from one party in early as independent country, in liberal democracy, the guided of democracy, and also democracy of Pancasila has important processed for Indonesia National Police its self. The reality of the political system changed made Indonesia National Police to taken role for solved the problem, also with the dual approaches: civil police and military approached.

Actually, since its birth, Indonesia National Police was already as a civil institution. It is stipulated in the Government Decree No. 11/SD/1946 about State Police Bureau under the supervision of Prime Ministry. After that, the position of Indonesia National Police got worse, because they were integrated with the military institution as Armed Force of the Republic of Indonesia (ABRI) as stipulated in Presidential Decree No. 155/1965. The changed position made the Indonesia National Police as civil institution must adopted the culture of military in any kind of activity, for example: in police academy, and also the uniformed they wear. So, the integration has made Indonesia National Police adopted the militaristic culture in all of its activities.

The political and social changes, especially the position of Indonesia National Police in Government made Indonesia National Police as an institution with difficulties to practice as security actor. Indonesia National Police would try to push democracy process in Indonesia as one of the Indonesia National Police commitments on strengthens of nation as pluralism state would not happen. Precisely, Indonesia National Police became a policy operation to muffled people aspiration as democracy system. It was very harder, when New Order Government era, where Indonesia National Police was became a common enemy by the people because they always head to head each other, with different interest. Indonesia National Police just want to operate the government policy to protect the public aspiration.

The significant changes came when the Reform era, after New Order Government was toppled. The political decision to disperse Indonesia National Police from TNI was issued on 1 April 1999 by the Presidential Decree. Since it was supported by public, the legal status was increased by the legal process by the Decree of People Consultative Assembly No. MPR/VII/2000 and No. MPR/VII/2000 about the Dispersal of Indonesia National Police from the Armed Forces, and also arranged the structure of Police directly under the President, while the armed forces is directly under Ministry of Defense. Their new legal presence was followed up by the Government in the Law No. 2/2002 about Indonesia National Police, and Law No. 3/2002 about State Defense. Because the Law No.3/2002 is too large for TNI, within the next two years, the Law was improved and issued in Law No. 34/2004 about Indonesia Armed Forces.

As an institution of home affair security, Indonesia National Police has a rule to practices civil police approached on Law No. 2/2002, especially Articles 2, 4, and 5. On articles 2 explains about police function as a government institution to keep and restore security and public order, to serve and protect the public. Meanwhile, on Article 4 explains about the Indonesia National Police aims to protect internal security covers: to protect security and public order, rule of law, to serve and protect public, also making sure tranquility with human right approaches. Article 5 also stipulated that Indonesia National Police role as a State Institution is to keep the order of internal security.

Referring to the role and function of police as explicitly stipulated by Law No. 2/2002, It is clearly described how the role and function of Indonesia National Police directly to rule of law, respecting human right and also civil rights. Two of them are integrating in democracy principles. But, the implementing of those is very difficult, because militaristic values and culture have been adhering in Polaris institution. The experience more than 40 years, when joined with the military institution in ABRI has been Indonesia National Police still used military approached for a while.

Obstacles and Resistance for Indonesia National Police to Reform

The reality we would see that so very utopian to implementing these articles on Law 2/2002 about democratic policing. There are ten obstacles was faced by Indonesia National Police, these are: First, the internalization of values and the essences of civil police in Indonesia National Police officers does not thorough yet. The problem is because Indonesia National Police does not complete for transformation as institution from combatant police to civil police yet. Many violence practices has to be done by Indonesia National Police from the past until now can we see on media. Police Mobile Brigade and Detachement 88, anti terror special police force were often practices of violence into their operation in conflict areas such as Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), Papua, Poso, and also Maluku. Beside that Brimob and Detachment 88 used the same approach when they arrested actors of terrorist. Brutality and security approached by Indonesia National Police in Imparsial, the NGO of human right views because the arrogant of Indonesia National Police institution, and that is follow to officer to practice the brutality approached. The Imparsial concluded that brutality practices erased any kind of Indonesia National Police achievement has already did by who handle of internal security institution.

Second, bad opinion in public. The bad opinion from the public was made Indonesia National Police still do not accepting by the community. According Jakarta Law Office report, around 2004 has been happen almost five hundreds cases relating with the bad habit of Indonesia National Police officer.

Third, Indonesia National Police budget is too low; the consequence is the Police officers have less salary. Even tough every year after dispersed from TNI, Indonesia National Police budget has been increasing. But the Indonesia National Police budget from State Expenditure and Budget (APBN) does not cover any routine need like salary, and operational police yet. The Indonesia National Police budget in 2005 only US$ 11 Millions, and then in 2006 increased 10.23 %, US$ 17 Millions, now in 2007, Indonesia National Police budget is US$ 19 Millions. The problem of Indonesia National Police budget is this only cover more less 30 % Indonesia National Police need, so it was not surprising if Indonesia National Police have off-budget from any kind of sources such as Regional Expenditure and Budget (APBD), and State budget non APBN, from the operational of police as making driver licensed payment, Car Identity Number, and Letter of Car Owned. Beside that, Indonesia National Police have assistance budget from ’Friend Participation’, Community Participation’, and Criminal Participation’.

Fourth, Ratio between Indonesia National Police officer and population. The ideal of ratio police and citizen to according United Nations standard among 1:350 until 1:750. Beside that, the population of Indonesia straight increases almost 240 millions, but the Indonesia National Police officer totally 350 thousands. If we check it, the ratio between the number of Indonesia National Police personnel and population is close to ideal as accorded to UN standard. But in the reality, the Indonesia National Police officer does not spread to any province and municipal in Indonesia yet. Beside that, the skill and expertise of police very low. Many Indonesia National Police Officers are unskilled and does not have good expertise. That’s why; Indonesia National Police always have facing problem to implement of Law No. 2/2002. Lieutenant General (Pol) Makbul Padmanegara, a Vice Chairman of Indonesia National Police agreed that Indonesia National Police officer ratio does not standard yet. The outer of Java Island, for example Bali Province or Maluku Province have already good standard of UN between police officer and population, these are 1:300, but in Java Island Provinces still 1:1200. So the Indonesia National Police and government management do not have spread as fast as they can. Because government still do not have enough budget and trying to increasing skill and expertise the Indonesia National Police officer first. Actually, in my opinion, only Brimob and Detachment 88 officers, and also criminal detective department have already good skill and expertise. We can saw the process of against terrorism by Detachment 88, separatism movement by Brimob, and also corruption by the criminal detective. While, they still have some critics for public about violence’s approached and only interested some cases.

Fifth, Indonesia National Police officer have less understand to concept and system of democracy. The consequence of political reform in Indonesia is spirit to expression those in daily activity. That thing does not understand by Indonesia National Police officer as full as they could, we can see from their response to political and social dynamic. The Indonesia National Police officer look like not ready to serve and protect community. Opposite of that the concept, Indonesia National Police as institution and also the officer often do wrong, for example in Governor election of Capital of Jakarta, some of Indonesia National Police officers was doing support to one of candidate, Lieutenant General (ret). Adang Darajatun, former Vice Chief of Indonesia National Police was designated by Islamic Party, Prosperity and Justice Party (PKS). Some of Indonesia National Police officer followed the election in some of election areas. As we know, according to Law No. 2/2002, Indonesia National Police officer do not allow join in political practices, the same situation has been done by the National Police Commission, they both supported Adang to be a Jakarta Capital’s Governor. Meanwhile, Richard L. Henshel views that if police officer or police institution out of law as discretion, just only allow to operational tactics. If police officer of police institution out of rule of operation perfective, it assures that their works were deviated of procedures of police.

Sixth, Indonesia National Police officer has less understand about public sociology. It is difficult to Indonesia National Police officer to run their job in different region or province. For example how had been difficult to control of Abepura, Papua Riots, because the Indonesia National Police officer does not understand about the Papua culture and their sociologist, where principles of democracy as public expression hit each other with the role of Indonesia National Police. The large of Indonesia’s authority was made Indonesia National Police difficult to realization any policy to public as match as with the society character. Let us imagine if we see Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) Province, implementing Islamic Law (syariah). If the Indonesia National Police officer does not understand about the Islamic rule, it will be problem and chaos. The Acehnese is a religious community, so they need Indonesia National Police officer who know and understand about Islamic community and their law. The others example like in Municipal of Cirebon, West Java Province. A new Chief of Municipal Police rejected by The Ulama, religion teacher and community, because he is not Muslim, and he is not a sundanese also, as races as like them. In the future, Indonesia National Police as institution must be careful to placement of their officer. Indonesia National Police must trainee their officer about sociology and regional characteristic first before on duty, and also refer to merit system.

Seventh, Indonesia National Police as an institution is a national police. This formulation of institution, makes Indonesia National Police should be supported by operational fund taken from the national budget. But, in regional autonomy as present, the format seems does not like match. Indonesia National Police depend their budget to government making a long process of administration and chains of command. I can not imagine if Indonesia National Police officer from Papua province want to increase his career, he must receive letter of agree from national administration first, before he continue to getting his special school police. Meanwhile, the province police and municipal province just signed as administration for him.

Eighth, Indonesia National Police is still under control by president as political accountability. The choice is under president directly has been problem and any risks as political interest, as well known as on Abdurrahman Wahid’s President’ era. Probably, Indonesia National Police direct under President will always disturb with any kind political event in political dynamic. The rejection of Indonesia National Police to Bill of National Security is an action and response that Indonesia National Police does not disturb, because any direct accesses to president could be Indonesia National Police as an autonomy institution was threatened. Indonesia National Police des not want to marginalize institution again as the past they did to Indonesia National Police. One of articles shown us that Indonesia National Police must be include or under coordinating in ministries, such as Internal Department, Department of Human Right and Law, or related department. Beside that, Bill of National Security is an umbrella law to coordinating any security actor such as Indonesia National Police, TNI, and also State of Intelligence Body (BIN).

Ninth, educational system in Indonesia National Police has been practicing military system. Any kind of educational level adopted from TNI system of educational, the problem is, the level and system of education still using by Indonesia National Police. Indonesia National Police have three level of education, such as: The first Level education (Diktama): Lower Ranking Noncommissioned Education (Seba), school of Senior Noncommissioned (Seba), School of Officer Candidate (Secapa), School for Officer from Graduate University (PDDS), Police Academy (Akpol). The secondary level as School of Establishment Officer: Regularly Lower Ranking Noncommissioned Education (Seba Reg), School of Officer Candidate/School of Establishment Officer (Secapa/Setukpa), and the Third Level as School of Officer Advanced (Selapa), University of Police, School of Chief and Staff National Police (Sespim), and also School of Higher Chief and Staff National Police (Sespati). Beside that, Indonesia National Police have a vocational school like as: Science and Technology Police School, School Traffic Police, Intelligence Police School, Investigation Police School, School of Police Patrol, Mobile Brigade, Woman Police (Polwan), and also School of Police Administration. In the all level of Indonesia National Police education, those still practicing military system in their daily education, so that’s why they are very easy to violence practices in their duty.

And tenth, the oversight level does not running effective. The Executive Body as direct supervisor does not make a good policy to oversight and control the Police. In other side, Commission III in Parliament (DPR) does not effective oversight to Indonesia National Police. The members of Commission III do not understand about police issues, so that’s why they do not effectively oversight and control Indonesia National Police. Meanwhile, National Police Commission (Kompolnas) ought to path away between public and executive, Indonesia National Police, and also doing control to Indonesia National Police in reality they do not doing yet. Sometimes Kompolnas is just playing as an Indonesia National Police defender in any kind of moment.

Polri and Democratic Policing

In democratic country context, there are some model and police system used by some countries in the world. It is very interesting to see them as scientific object of research and in reality that many countries with democracy tradition or democratic transition always develops and correlation with the democratic policing. The interest in democratic policing as classic views is: Centralization or Autonomy, specialists vs. generalists, internal vs. external controls, distance between police and power, maximum or minimum discretion, single vs. lateral entry. It is clear however, that a democratic police are existing in many forms. I mean, we can see many countries practicing various form and concepts of democratic policing.

The variation of democratic policing in democratic countries depends on their characteristic of the people. For example, in United State of America, there is a influence of military model, autonomy, have no national standard, fragmented system, although US have one of which mixed of national; polices institution. But, one of important thing, in US, the police direct control by a local government as governor, mayor, or municipal council. Meanwhile in Britain police, they explicitly non-military and local, and more standardized than US police, and also more responsibility for control between national and local government. Even though, Britain does not have constitution or bill of right to order police, but the Principe of Britain have no power beyond that of the ordinary public and every police are unarmed.

Different in two of countries above, France police is very highly centralized and also less service to community. They have single national legal system as police institution. France has rival national police: gendarme, as a part of France Military, and the National Police as under of the Ministry of Interior. They have no local police, only national police. So the local government does not control them. France believes that democracy do not allow the people doing in activity, so that why police in France giving some of their job to political intelligence. Police in France only works as guard and security of the community, so that is why, they have more autonomy as an institution than police in Britain or US.

The concept of democratic policing is generally adopted and supported by many countries, means includes:
1. A division of labor between these who investigate, arrest, working, and punishing;
2. A military-like bureaucratic structure which limits discretion and tries to create audit trails;
3. The separation of police from the military and the creation of competent police agencies rather than a monolith;
4. External agencies (or compartmentalized parts of the organization) that monitor its behavior and that must give permission for
certain highly intrusive actions; police who can be readily identified as such (e.g., in uniforms with names or identification
numbers and clearly marked cars) or in the case of undercover police whose identity is hidden,
5. A courtroom trial in which police actions are deception is publicly revealed and judged; and rotation of assignments.
6. Adequate compensation and working conditions at least at the average level of the society.
beside that, in democratic policing as practices must act in accordance following four forms:
1. Police must give top operational priority to servicing the need of individual citizens and private groups.
2. Police must be accountable to the law rather than to government
3. Police must protect the human right, especially those that are required for the sort of unfettered political activity that is the
hallmark of democracy.
4. Police should be transparent in their activity.

According to theory and concept, and also practices of democratic policing, Indonesia National Police as institution should not allow and avoid anymore for the process of democratic transition in Indonesia, where Indonesia National Police is part of the process. Because we know that, Indonesia National Police is a civil organization; they were from community and public who need secured and protect their goods and life. There are eight things to do in order that Indonesia National Police reform could synergize with the process of democratic transition in Indonesia, these are: First, Indonesia National Police as civil institution whom had armed, but no combatant, and also definitely different with armed force. It’s mean, Indonesia National Police must release and erasing military paradigm and cultures from any aspect, especially in educational system and practicing approach to community. Indonesia National Police as professional institution will touch and socialize with any kind of activity, because Indonesia National Police have to serve and protect the community, as individual or group of publics. So that, Indonesia National Police does not just revise educational back ground but also drop any military educational course from system of educational. According Blue Paper of Indonesia National Police Reform, system of education in Indonesia National Police should follow the civil process as a good civil police in democracy state.

Second, Indonesia National Police must have priority to put and internalization democracy and human right values to any aspect in Indonesia National Police, such as education and training, operation, interaction with community like community policing, and so on. If Indonesia National Police officer has already known and also can practices these values, we assure that Indonesia National Police is ready to be a civil police who loved and needed by community.

Third, Indonesia National Police need to consider delegate authority to local government as management of decentralization. It has been correlating with chains of command, operational management, and also budget support for Indonesia National Police. As we know, Indonesia National Police budget is less, so that they put and taking from ’unknown budget’. If Indonesia National Police want to delegation their authority, Indonesia National Police can get budget from local budget and expenditure, especially in province police (Polda), region police (Polwil), municipal police (Polres), and also village police (Polsek). It is possible, because local leaders have coordinating lines and security management with the head or chief of police, so they want to share and giving money to secure their venue. The process of delegate of authority will need political policy from president and parliament; the political consequences must push executive and parliament to revise the Law No. 2/2002.

Fourth, the parliament and also government must have considered of position of Indonesia National Police directly under president. In the future, the position as now will be bad influence to Indonesia National Police, because Indonesia National Police will can used by president in political practices. The ideal position for Indonesia National Police are become Police Ministry or join coordinating with two or more ministry. If Indonesia National Police become a ministry, it will be professional institution, and also presidency intervention can hold up by the mechanism in ministry, although can not disturbing of internal consolidation.

Fifth, Indonesia National Police must manage their officer to doing effective. The ration between Indonesia National Police officer with the community can be spread to all province and municipal as rational as like UN standard. Beside that, they have to protect and secure in internal security with community policing. The Indonesia National Police officer must attending in every village, and support to public to join in Police and Community Communication Forum (literally translated from Forum Komunikasi Polisi dan Masyarakat) as implemented the community policing.

Sixth, Government and Parliament must do revitalization to Kompolnas. Until three year since their established, the commission do not doing well as control and oversight as articles 38, Law 2/2002 said. The articles said that Kompolnas order to collect public opinions and complains after that, they analyzing and give to president as data that consider of president when he arranged a political policy for the police. Kompolnas Revitalization is very important to making pathway public opinion and complain to direct president, and also objectively as Indonesia National Police institution when one of Indonesia National Police officer doing problem.

Seventh, the Chief of Indonesia National Police Indonesia National Police must select any officer who has good reputation, anti-military approached, never used any violence in their duty can have good promotion. The officer who practicing military and violence approached must drop into administration section, it could be revolutionary process and will carry out Indonesia National Police from the problem. Even though, the keys point of change in hand of two persons such as: Chief of Indonesia National Police and also the President. The commitment of both of persons very important to Indonesia National Police becomes a civil police, and professional police. So that’s why, the pattern of protect the officer whom guilty and doing wrong matters should be cutter. If the revolutionary process could not happen, the evolution of change should be practiced. Its mean, the Indonesia National Police need more 50 years to be a civil police, and into democratic policing. The 50 years it’s mean to release some officers who have military education are 1999 generation below. The consequence of these process are Indonesia National Police realized their capability and capability as can as doing best, and also practicing part by part of civil police and democratic police concept in their academy and also in their field.

Eighth, to stimulate civil community of democracy, such as: President, Parliament, and also the people to demand of revise of Law No. 2/2002, especially articles 5, about identifiably of Indonesia National Police as National Police, articles of the authority of Chief of Indonesia National Police, Articles 8, 9, 10, articles 37, 38, and 39, about National Police Commission (Kampongs), and also add article about police budget.

The eight things to do only could happen if four component of democratic community for democratic policing such as: citizens, National Police Commission (Kompolnas), Parliament, and President supports Indonesia National Police to reform their internal and doing effectively oversight. Citizens as stake holder must criticize to the Indonesia National Police, Parliament, especially Commission III have stimulate oversight and control, beside that the MP’s also encrease their knowledge about political policing and how control the security actors. Meanwhile, the President, as Indonesia National Police’s boss must know any kind of problem in internal Indonesia National Police, not only data or sources from Kompolnas, but the President as institution and personal must open for public opinion and aspiration. About Kompolnas, the commission must revitalize it in order to turn it into a public commission, Kompolnas must have objective views and not too close with the Indonesia National Police, so Kompolnas or Province Police Commission (Kompolda) office should not be in the Indonesia National Police or Province Police Office. They must have owned office, and the government supports the commission from national and regional budget (APBN and APBD), to make sure they have objective views to advice, control, and also oversight Indonesia National Police. Finally, the problems of Indonesia National Police reform does not from internal Indonesia National Police either, but the actors of democracy in supra structure level above also give contribution to the obstacles of Indonesia National Police Reform. So, they both must have coordinative works and commitment to support Indonesia National Police to become a professional and civil police in the frame of democratic policing.


Eight years after Indonesia National Police was dispersed from TNI, democratic policing in Indonesia is still far from realization in Indonesia National Police as an institution. The cultural and behavioral dominate the problem in the institution of Indonesia National Police due to its presence in the military body for a long time, more then 30 years. Beside that, the process of establishment of Indonesia National Police was also influenced by military culture and rule. As an institution, Indonesia National Police does not really want to change themselves, since Indonesia National Police is under direct control of the President. They have the right justification that the institution was already reformed. In the reality, many brutality and violence practices by Indonesia National Police officer, even, they used armed to killed the people just only to proofed they were a police officer. The failure of Indonesia National Police as professional institution also because the police education still practicing military rule and culture, less budget, also Indonesia National Police officer salary, too centralized power in Chief of Indonesia National Police, the ratio between Indonesia National Police officer and population does not spread to all region and province, also municipal yet. Oversight and control does not effective yet, and also the merit system does not really practicing yet. In the other hand, the actor of democracy does not optimized their control, oversight and also support the Indonesia National Police, so that’s why Indonesia National Police as institution does not moving to professional police as fast as we want.

The obstacles of Indonesia National Police reform will reduce just need two ways process. In the first, Indonesia National Police as institution must have motivation and open to change process. It’s mean, Indonesia National Police must proof their ability and capability as one of actor of security in the frame of democratic policing as like reduce of military rule in education and practicing order. In other hand, president, parliament, Kompolnas, and also citizen must support to reduce any problem and obstacles in Indonesia National Police reform, the point of their support is oversight and control effectively the institution. Without those, democratic policing in Indonesia nothing happens.


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