It has become a public knowledge that police officers have additional income outside their official salary provided by the state. There are three sources of additional income: People’s Participation (partipasi masyarakat – parmas), Friendship Participation (parisipasi teman – parman), and Criminal Participation (partisipasi kriminal – parmin). These souces of income are supported by permissive attitudes from the society for improper practices of the officers.

To eradicate the negative side-effects of these practices, Chief of National Police, General Sutanto, since 2005 has stated the necessity to gradually increase the official salary of police officers. Based on on Government Decree No. 29/2001 on Regulation of Salary for Police Officers, the lowest monthly income for our officer is only Rp.1.7 millions. General Sutanto has proposed to raise monthly income for the lowest rank police officers to Rp.7-8.3 million. This proposal is in line the trend of income improvement in other officers in judicial branch of government and in other law enforcement units. These officer has already enjoyed a significant increased of their income when President SBY issued a Decree (Perpres) No. 19/2008 that gives significant amount of additional allowance for Judges and employees in Supreme Court (MA) and other judicial courts. This decision should be expanded to include our police officers so the income gap between officers in law enforcement units could be eradicated.

Support from Local Government Budget

However, this policy will be difficult to be implemented soon. The limited state budget for Police of Rp20-25 trillions per year must be divided into several organizational function, including salary, and must also be allocated to support operational costs for more then four hundred thousand officer. This creates a classic problem: the incapacity of state to financially support our police institution, force our officers to abuse their authorities for sake of getting additional incomes.

Based on this predicament, I propose a budget alternative for our police. The local governments can allocate their local expenditure to support local police activities, including giving additional allowance for the officers in their respective areas.
However, currently, there are two regulations that prohibit this kind of budget allocation. The Decree of Minister of Home Affair No. 15/2004 and the Government Decree No. 39/2007 on Prohibition of Aid from Regional Budget to Vertical Institutions clearly stated that local governments cannot allocate their expenditure to the police. The basic logic of this regulation is the police is part of our central government, thus the principle of centralization, including budget allocation, must be uphold.

This principle of centralization of police should be modified. Local governments should be more involved in managing police activities in their region. Currently, our national police is not seriously developing effective communication with local government. The Head of Provincial Police and Head of Basic Operation Unit in regional level fail to build a strategic interaction with their counterpart from local government. The policy of policing in a region is still formulated in Jakarta without any significant local government involvement in the policy-making process.

In order to secure local financial support in police budget, the function of home security affairs should be put under the coordination of the local government. It means that our National Police should propose a policy coordination mechanism with the Ministry of Home Affair and translated it into a working mechanism with local governments. This mechanism may evolve into the concept of decentralization in police function and management. This should be followed by providing some level of authorities for local governments, for example, to recommend candidates for Head of Provincial Police, Head of Regional Police, Head of District Police, and Head of Precinct to the Headquarters of Indonesia Police.

Both political and institutional modifications will not disrupt the main organization of Indonesia Police as a National Police Institution as stipulated in Law No. 2/2002. The character of national police can be kept intake to central government by drawing three boundaries. First, the authority of local government is limited on the supervision of budget expenditure allocated from the local government budget to the Police in the area. Second, local governments will only employ national police deployed in their area when a security threat exists in the region. This employment should be reported to the local government, beside to the Headquarters of Indonesia Police. Currently, the report concerning the employment of police is sent directly to the Headquarters of Indonesia Police. Third, the proposed candidate of the head of regional police and basic operation unit is recommended by local government solely to improve cooperation mechanisms between two institutions.

The additional police budget allocated from local governments can be formulated in in two formats. First, Indonesia Police and Ministry of Home Affair make a clear boundary on the minimum and maximum budget allocation that can be provided by local governments to the police. This boundary must be made to accommodate the diversity of regions in term of their economic conditions. Related to the officers’ income, local government can allocate additional income for police officers deployed in their region so the ideal salary for new lowest rank police officers of Rp.4.5-7.5 millions can be fulfilled. The diversity of local government in term of financial capacity should be overcome by creating a cross-subsidy mechanism between regions.
Second, Indonesia Police and Ministry of Home Affair give full authority to Regional Police and Basic Operation Unit to negotiate with local governments in issues of local police requirements and amount of allocated budget. Such autonomy will embrace strategic interaction between two institutions in a region.

If the additional budget from local government can be allocated to our national police, our police officers will enjoy better prosperity and their improper practices can be eroded significantly.