The long-running National Police leadership debacle led to high-profile demonstrations in support of the Corruption Eradication Commission. (JG Photo/ Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

Police Watchdog Says Solidarity in Ranks Strong After Leadership Spat


DECEMBER 24, 2015

Jakarta. The National Police have restored internal solidarity after a failed leadership succession earlier this year caused a standoff between law enforcement bodies, the National Police Commission, known as Kompolnas, has said.

The current chief of the National Police, Gen. Badrodin Haiti, came to power in April after the government dismissed his predecessor, Gen. Sutarman, in January and called off the inauguration of his replacement, Comr. Gen. Budi Gunawan.

Budi's nomination was quickly followed by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, naming him a graft suspect leading to public outcry and a standoff between the police and the antigraft body.

"This led to rift within the National Police, but Badrodin has mended solidarity within his institution," Adrianus Meliala, a commissioner of Kompolnas, said on Wednesday at his office. “That solidarity has been brought back to the surface now.”

Kompolnas also lauded the National Police for maintaining security during the Dec. 9 regional elections for more than 200 mayors, district chiefs and governors. Police reported no cases of violence on the day and maintained tight security across the country.

A November circular ordering all officers to counter all forms of hate speech was also hailed by Kompolnas as a highlight of the year. “The initiative came from the commission,” Adrianus said, adding that such move could “prevent and reveal terror acts.”

Despite the positive tone from Kompolnas, another watchdog has highlighted a year filled with irresponsible police shooting.

Indonesia Police Watch said the National Police must impose tighter supervision on firearms, reporting 20 cases of bystanders being injured or even killed from police fire throughout the year. The number of cases has risen this year, with 13 similar cases reported in 2014.