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Indonesian National Police

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Title: Indonesian National Police  
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Indonesian National Police

Indonesian National Police
Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia
Abbreviation POLRI
Logo of Indonesian National Police
Motto Rastra Sewakottama (Sanskrit)
(People's Main Servant)
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Legal jurisdiction National
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Jakarta, Indonesia
Agency executive Police General Badrodin Haiti, Chief of Indonesian National Police

The Indonesian National Police (Indonesian: Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia) is the official police force of Indonesia. It had formerly been a part of the Indonesian National Armed Forces. The police were formally separated from the military in April 1999, a process which was formally completed in July 2000.[1] With 150,000 personnel, the police form a much smaller portion of the population than in most nations.

The strength of the Indonesian National Police stood at approximately 387,470 in 2011. The national police force was formally separated as a branch of the armed forces and placed under the Office of the President in 1999. It also includes 12,000 marine police and an estimated 40,000 People’s Security (KAMRA) trainees who serve as a police auxiliary and report for three weeks of basic training each year.

The headquarters, known as Markas Besar/Mabes in Indonesian, is located in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta.


  • History 1
  • The Indonesian National Police Main Duties/Task 2
  • Notable Service Branches 3
    • Mobile Brigade 3.1
    • Detachment 88 3.2
    • Traffic police 3.3
    • Indonesian Coast and Sea Guarding Police Force 3.4
    • Sabhara 3.5
    • PHH 3.6
    • Tourism Police 3.7
    • Railway Police 3.8
    • Vital Object Protection 3.9
    • Airport Police 3.10
    • Gegana 3.11
    • Bareskrim 3.12
  • List of Chief of Police (Kapolri) 4
  • Organization 5
  • Indonesian Police Operational Centers 6
  • Education 7
  • Firearms 8
  • Ranks 9
    • Uniform 9.1
  • Controversy 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14


The veldpolitie in Malang, East Java (c. 1930)

When large parts of Indonesia was under Dutch colonial occupation until the 1940s, police duties were performed by either military establishments or colonial police known as the veldpolitie or the field police. Japanese occupation during WW II brought changes when the Japanese formed various armed organisations to support their war. This had led to the distribution of weapons to military trained youths, which were largely confiscated from the Dutch armoury.

After the Japanese occupation, the national police became an armed organisation. The Indonesian police was established in 1946, and its units fought in the Indonesian National Revolution against the invading Dutch forces. The police also participated in suppressing the 1948 communist revolt in Madiun. In 1966, the police was brought under the control of Armed Forces Chief. Following the proclamation of independence, the police played a vital role when they actively supported the people’s movement to dismantle the Japanese army, and to strengthen the defence of the newly created Republic of Indonesia. The police were not combatants who were required to surrender their weapons to the Allied Forces. During the revolution of independence, the police gradually formed into what is now known as Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia (Polri) or the Indonesian National Police. In 2000, the police force officially regained its independence and now is separate from the military.

The Indonesian National Police Main Duties/Task

The key task of the Indonesian National Police are to:

  • maintain security and public order;
  • enforce the law, and
  • provide protection, and service to the community.

In carrying out these basic tasks, Police are to:

  • perform control, guard, escort and patrol of the community and government activities as needed;
  • supplying all activities to ensure the safety and smoothness of traffic on the road;
  • to develop community awareness;
  • as well as in the development of national law;
  • implement order and ensure public safety;
  • implement co-ordination, supervision, and technical guidance to the investigators, civil servants/authorities, and the forms of private security;
  • implement the investigation against all criminal acts in accordance with the criminal procedure law and other legislation;
  • implement identification such as police medical operations, psychology, and police forensic laboratory for the interests of the police task;
  • Protect soul safety, property, society, and the environment from disturbances and/or disaster, including providing aid and relief to uphold human rights;
  • Serving interests of citizens for a while before it is handled by the agency and/or authorities;
  • Give services to the public in accordance with the interests of the police task environment;
  • to implement other duties in accordance with the legislation, which in practice regulated by Government Regulation;
  • Receive reports and/or complaints;
  • crowd and public control;
  • help resolve community disputes that may interfere with the public order;
  • supervising the flow that can lead to the dismemberment or threaten the unity of the nation;
  • publicising police regulations within the scope of police administrative authority;
  • implementing special examination as part of the police identification;
  • respond first and rapid action to a scene;
  • Take the identity, fingerprints and photograph of a person for identification purposes;
  • looking for information and evidence;
  • organising National Crime Information Center;
  • issuing license and / or certificate that is required to service the community;
  • Give security assistance in the trial and execution of court decisions, the activities of other agencies, as well as community activities; and
  • to Receive, secure, and keep founded lost items for a while until further identification

Notable Service Branches

The service branches of the Police in Indonesia is also known as Kesatuan which are:

Mobile Brigade

The Mobile Brigade Police force of Indonesia (BRIMOB POLRI) is the elite/special force of the Indonesian National Police. It is a paramilitary force of Indonesia and takes the duties for handling high-level threat of public secure also special police operations.

Detachment 88

The Detachment 88 (Indonesian: 'Densus'88) is a special force of the Indonesian armed forces in dealing with terrorism

Traffic police

The Traffic Police or in Indonesian language known as Polisi Lalulintas is a police service which have speciality in duty for directing, controlling, and to take action in traffic situations in the streets, roads, and highway.

Indonesian Coast and Sea Guarding Police Force

The Indonesian Coast and Sea Guarding Police Force or in Indonesian language known as Polisi Perairan is a police force in Indonesia which guards and secures the sea and coast of Indonesia.


Sabhara (SABHARA) is the public unit of the National Police of Indonesia that are alert to avoid and prevent the threat or danger in the attempt to harm the public order and public security. It is the most public and common police unit in the country that directly deals with the public.


The PHH is an abbreviation to Polisi Huru-Hara, this police force is known as the Riot Police of Indonesia.

Tourism Police

The tourism Police or in Indonesian language known as Polisi Turis is a police service for tourist purposes.

Railway Police

The railway police (Indonesian: POLSUSKA - Polisi Khusus Kereta Api) is police for train and railway service. This police force usually guards inside Trains and train stations.

Vital Object Protection

The Vital Object Protection of Indonesian National Police is an Indonesian police force for vital protection and usually secures international embassies in Indonesia. It is known in Indonesian as Polisi Kedutaan. And they're vehicles are usually coloured orange and usually parked outside of the embassies in Indonesia. The officers of this service wear ties like the tourism police in their uniform.

Airport Police

The Airport Police (Indonesian: Polisi Bandara) is a police service in the Airports of the country. They are separated/different from the Aviation Security in the airport, the aviation security are from the department of transportation and usually wear side caps, while the airport police wear brown like the other police units in Indonesia.


Gegana is a special police force of Indonesia which has the ability to deal with explosives and bombings that would attack the public.


Bareskrim (Badan Reserse Kriminal, lit. Criminal Investigation Agency) is an interior/internal police force/unit of the Indonesian national police, its main duty is to investigate criminal activity and crime identification

And there are more specific services in the national police of the country.

List of Chief of Police (Kapolri)

  1. General R Said Soekanto Tjokrodiatmodjo (29 Sep 1945 – 14 December 1959)
  2. General Soekarno Djojonegoro (15 December 1959 – 29 December 1963)
  3. General Soetjipto Danoekoesoemo (30 December 1963 – 8 May 1965)
  4. General Soetjipto Joedodihardjo (9 May 1965 – 8 May 1968)
  5. General Hoegeng Imam Santoso (9 May 1968 – 2 October 1971)
  6. General Moch. Hasan (3 October 1971 – 1974)
  7. General Widodo Budidharmo (1974 – 25 September 1978)
  8. General Awaluddin Djamin (26 September 1978 – 1982)
  9. General Anton Soedjarwo (1982 – 1986)
  10. General Mochammad Sanoesi (1986 – 19 February 1991)
  11. General Kunarto (20 February 1991 – April 1993)
  12. General Banurusman Astrosemitro (April 1993 – March 1996)
  13. General Dibyo Widodo (March 1996 – 28 June 1998)
  14. General Roesmanhadi (29 June 1998 – 3 January 2000)
  15. General Roesdihardjo (4 January 2000 – 22 September 2000)
  16. General Suroyo Bimantoro (23 September 2000 – 28 November 2001)
  17. General Da'i Bachtiar (29 November 2001 – 7 July 2005)
  18. General Sutanto (8 July 2005 – 30 September 2008)
  19. General Bambang Hendarso Danuri (30 September 2008 – October 2010)
  20. General Timur Pradopo (October 2010 – 25 October 2013)
  21. General Sutarman (25 October 2013 – 16 January 2015)[2][3]
  22. General Badrodin Haiti (17 April 2015 – present)


Polri is a centralised national bureaucracy.[4] As a national agency it has a large central headquarters in Jakarta (Markas Besar Polri or Mabes Polri). The regional police organisation parallels exactly the hierarchy of the Indonesian civic administration, with provincial police commands (Polisi Daerah or Polda) to cover provinces, district commands (Polisi Resor or Polres) for districts, sub-district commands (Polsek) and community police officers or Polmas to service individual villages.[5]

There is a similar law enforcement force in Indonesia that shares similar duties for the country with the Indonesian National Police, the law enforcement is known as Civil Service Police Unit or known in the Indonesian Language as Satpol PP

There are confusing terminological differences between some police commands. This derives from certain normative features of Indonesian governance. Indonesian political culture elevates the capital district (ibukota propinsi) of a province from other districts in the same province, though all have the same functional powers. Similarly, the capital province of the country (Jakarta), enjoys special normative status over other provinces – though in practice all have the same governmental responsibilities. The Indonesian police structure continues this by creating a special command for the province of Jakarta (Polda Metro Jaya), and special commands for capital city districts and cities (Polisi Kota Besar or Poltabes). Nevertheless, all of Indonesia’s police district commands (whether they are a Polres or Poltabes) and all the provincial commands (whether it is the flagship Polda Metro Jaya or one of the other Poldas) have the same powers and duties.[6]

As an additional complication, super large provinces like East, West and Central Java have intermediary co-ordinating commands (Polisi Wilayah or Polwil) designed to enhance co-ordination between provincial commands and districts (to illustrate, Polda Jawa Barat in West Java has no less than 29 district commands – a major challenge for command and control). However Polri has a stated commitment to dismantle these Polwil in the near future.[7]

Internal police culture is doctrinaire and hierarchical, and the organisation reflects this.[8] The design and duties of Poldas and Polres are determined by central edict.[9] Current standing orders determine that all provincial police are divided into three streams A1 (Polda Metro Jaya), B1 (demographically large provinces like East, Central and West Java) and B2 (smaller provinces like Yogyakarta, or West Kalimantan).[10] The structure of these Poldas is more or less the same, with each possessing: a directorate of detectives, narcotics, traffic police, intelligence, specialist operational units (such as Brimob – the paramilitary police strikeforce, water police, and other units), as well as support detachments like the provosts, Binamitra (social relations police), etc.[11] What truly differentiates Poldas is their resource base. Within Polri a tripartite matrix is applied to allocate personnel, money and equipment. This matrix is based upon a provinces’ square area, population size and reported crime rate. The same matrix is also applied to divide resources between Polres.[12] Turning to examine the Polres, the Polres is in essence the backbone of the Indonesian police – it bridges the purely operational units (Polsek), with the higher planning/strategic elements of the structure (the Polda). In the Indonesian police a Polres is termed the Komando Satuan Dasar (or Basic Unit of Command); this means that a Polres has substantial autonomy to implement its own activities and mount its own operations.[13] Regarding the structure of a Polres, a Polres is in effect a scaled down version of a Polda. Below is a cross-section of an average B1 level Polres (discreetly termed Polres A), in the province of Yogyakarta. This data derives from a recent PhD dissertation.[14] Polres A has fourteen separate detachments. Seven of these detachments can be described as support elements. These support elements consist of: an Operations Planning Section, a Community Policing Section, an Administration Section (providing human resource management, training co-ordination, etc.), a Telecommunications detachment (providing communications support), a Unit P3D (provosts - or the police who police the police), a Police Service Centre (for co-ordinating requests from the public), a Medical Support Group and the Polres Secretariat. Based on 2007 data, these support areas were staffed by 139 personnel. The largest support unit was the Polres Service Centre, with fifty one police. These seven support elements back up the work of Polres A’s seven other operational units (or Opsnal in Polri terminology) as well as the nineteen sub-district police precincts in this particular district.[15]

The Opsnal and sub-district commands execute Polri’s operational tasks. Polres A has one Traffic Police Unit, one Vital/Strategic Object Protection Unit, one Police Patrol Unit, one Narcotics Investigation Unit, one Detective Unit, a special tourist protection taskforce and a Police Intelligence Unit. These detachments have a combined strength of 487 personnel. The largest numbers are in the patrol unit (178) and the traffic unit (143). Added to the Opsnal personnel at the Polres headquarters are 1288 other police in nineteen sub-district Polseks. In 2007 this gave Polres a police-to-population ratio of around 1 police officer to 526 civilians.[16] Thus the Polres has a relatively large number of personnel, split across a breadth of operational roles, with a teeth-to-tail ratio between operational versus support personnel that is surprisingly high.

The allocation of the budget in Polres A is also illuminating for determining where police priorities are. In 2007, Polres A had a planned budget of Rp.62.358 billion ($US 5,668,909). Of this Rp.56 billion or 90% was spent on wages and office expenses. Thus, as with most organisations, personnel costs absorb the lion’s share of resources. In terms of the operational budget some Rp.4 billion or 6% was spent on daily activities and special operations. The remaining 4% was divided between community policing, intelligence gathering and criminal investigation.[17] Perhaps unsurprisingly then, resource shortages within the budget ensure little official money is directed to supporting operations.

Indonesian Police Operational Centers

In the country, the police services in the community are made into several posts or office which represent a region:

  • POLPOS or Pos Polisi is the police station for a specific smaller region or village
  • POLSEK or Polisi Sektor is the police office for a specific sub-district or kecamatan
  • POLRES or Polisi Resor is the police base for a specific city. For some big cities, sometimes it is known as POLRESTABES or Polisi Resor Kota Besar
  • POLDA or Polisi Daerah is the police headquarters for a specific province in the country.

POLWAN or Polisi wanita is a police woman


In the Indonesian National police, there are several educational institutions especially for the recruitment of the police, the Indonesian National Police Academy or AKPOL is to build the youth which is usually high school graduate and some are young university graduate to become officers in the national police and graduate as inspectors. LemdikPol or Lembaga Pendidikan Polisi is for building lower rank police personnel like sergeants/constables to become officers/inspectors in the police service. 'Sekolah Polisi Indonesia' is also another example of the educational system/institution in the national police, it is for the recruitment for new police recruits and usually finish their education as Second Seargent or Brigadier/Constable. So in conclusion:

  1. The Indonesian National Police Academy: builds and trains young cadets to become police officers/inspectors.
  2. 'LEMDIKPOL' or Lembaga Pendidikan Polisi: builds and forms sergeant/constables to become officers/inspectors
  3. 'Sekolah Polisi Indonesia' or The Indonesian Police School: builds and trains new and young policemen and graduate as sergeants/constable.

And there are more specific educational police institutions in the country.


The standard issue sidearm to all Indonesian National Police officers is the Taurus Model 82 revolver in .38 Special while policemen attached to special units such as Detachment 88 or the Mobile Brigade are issued with the Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.

Heavy arms are always available to Indonesian police officers, such as the Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun, Remington 870 shotgun, Steyr AUG assault rifle, M4 carbine or other weapons.


In the early years, the Polri used European police style ranks like inspector and commissioner. When the police were amalgamated with the military structure during the 1960s, the ranks changed to a military style such as Captain, Major and Colonel. In the year 2000, when the Polri conducted the transition to a fully independent force out of the armed forces in 2000, they use British style police ranks like Inspector and Superintendent. The Polri have returned to Dutch style ranks just like in the early years.


The National Police Force of Indonesia had changes for uniform colours about 3 times, the periods are:

    • Since first formed until late 70s, the uniform colour was khaki like the Indian Police uniform nowadays.
    • Since the early 80s until mid 90s, the uniform colour was light chocolate brown and dark chocolate brown.
    • Since mid 90s until now the colour are brownish grey and dark brown.


In 2014 the Human Rights Watch reported that a physical virginity test is routinely performed on female applicants to the police force.[18] Human Rights Watch decried the practice as unscientific and degrading.[18]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ David Jansen, ‘Networked Security in Indonesia: The Case of the Police in Yogyakarta.’ Doctoral Dissertation, Australian National University (April 2010), p.70-71.
  6. ^ Keputusan Kepala Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia No.Pol. : KEP 7/I/2005 tentang Perubahan Atas Keputusan Kapolri No.Pol KEP /54/X/2002 Tanggal 17 Oktober 2002 tentang Organisasi dan Tata Kerja Satuan-Satuan Organisasi pada Tingkat Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia Daerah (Polda) Lampiran A Polda Umum, B Polda Metro Jaya dan C Polres.
  7. ^ For commitment to deconstruct Polwil see: 2010, Polwiltabes Jadi Polrestabes’, Tribun Makassar, 23 December 2009
  8. ^ Jansen, ‘Networked Security in Indonesia’, 74.
  9. ^ See footnote four for central headquarters policy on structure and organizational function.
  10. ^ See footnote four.
  11. ^ Most Polda websites have a basic overview of their functional units A good one to start is Polda Jawa Barat.
  12. ^ See footnote four. See also: Mulyana, Laporan Hasil Penelitian: Telaah Tiplogi Polres Berdasarkan Karakteristik dan Perkembangan Wilayah (Universitas Padjadjaran, Sept.2007), p.13.
  13. ^ Jansen, ‘Networked Security in Indonesia’, 71.
  14. ^ Jansen, ‘Networked Security in Indonesia’ 71-73.
  15. ^ The Polsek is a purely operational unit (or in Polri terms Kesatuan Pelayanan Terdepan – the Primary Forward Service Unit). The Polsek covers the territory of a single, civilian sub-district (or kecamatan). Depending on the classification of its area, a Polsek usually has between 30-70 personnel, consisting of an intelligence unit, a detective unit, a patrol police unit, two Polmas/Babinkamtibmas (social order guidance police) for every village in the sub-district, and, if the sub-district is large enough, a traffic police unit.
  16. ^ District population figures derived from ‘Tabel 3.1.6 Jumlah Rumah Tangga dan Penduduk menurut Jenis Kelamin dan Kabupaten/Kota di Provinsi D.I.Yogyakarta (2004-2006).’ In: Badan Pusat Statistik: Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta Dalam Angka 2006/2007 (Katalog BPS: 1403.34), p.72.
  17. ^ Jansen, ‘Networked Security in Indonesia’, 71-72.
  18. ^ a b

Further reading

  • Amnesty International. (2009) "Indonesia: Unfinished Business: Police Accountability in Indonesia" (24 June 2009)
  • International Crisis Group. (2001) Indonesia : National Police reform. Jakarta / Brussels : International Crisis Group. ICG Asia report; no.13
  • David Jansen. (2008) 'Relations among security and law enforcement institutions in Indonesia', Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol.30, No.3, 429-54
  • ‘Networked Security in Indonesia: The Case of the Police in Yogyakarta.’ Doctoral Dissertation, Australian National University (April 2010).

External links

  • Official website
  • Outside Indonesia view
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