The Number Of Police Rises But Crime Doesn't Drop
Illustration (Photo: VOI Documentation)

JAKARTA - Recently, the Indonesian National Police (Polri) has been in the public spotlight. Public protests against the performance and attitude of the police have increased. From how the police respond to public complaints, the police who commit violence against students, the police who are reluctant to deal with tweets on social media, to the violent action by one of the police officers. Even though the presence of the police is expected to be a protector and provide a sense of security.

We should feel this sense of security at this time considering the number of police officers that continues to grow every year. Former National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian once said that Indonesia has 430,000 police personnel. This figure is the second highest in the world after China. The Indonesian National Police also has outstanding achievements in the eyes of the international community in terms of eradicating terrorism.

Indonesia is known to be the only country in Southeast Asia that has the largest number of police officers and meets UN standards, namely 222 officers guarding 100,000 residents. Although the number is large, it is not enough to reduce the crime rate, both conventional and digital.

As reported by Katadata, the number of Indonesian National Police personnel increased by 27,012 to 470,391 in 2019. This number has increased by 5.7 percent compared to 2018 which was only 443,379 personnel. The increase was also greater than 2016-2018. In 2016 to 2017, the increase was 1,712. Then, from 2017 to 2018 only 186 people increased. Currently, the number of Indonesian police personnel is 579 thousand people.

Police illustration (Instagram/@MPAmbarita)

However, there are also many cases involving police officers. According to a report by the Commission for Disappeared Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS), there were 651 acts of violence committed by the National Police from June 2020 to May 2021.

Shooting is the most violent act by the police. There were 390 shooting cases by Polri personnel or 57.9 percent of the total acts of violence in the past year. The shooting killed at least 13 people and injured 98 others.

In addition, there were 75 cases of arbitrary arrests and 66 cases of abuse by officers from June 2020 to May 2021. Then, there were 58 cases of violence by the National Police in the form of forced disbandment. There were 36 cases of torture, 24 cases of intimidation, and 12 cases of wrongful arrest in the past year.

A total of 399 cases of violence were committed at the resort police (Polres) level. A total of 135 cases of violence were at the level of the regional police (Polda). Meanwhile, the police sector (Polsek) is in the last position with 117 cases of violence. Not to mention we also often find cases of inhumane acts, sexual crimes, murders, and kidnappings committed by the police.

Screen capture video of Faris being slammed by Brigadier NP when holding an action for the sake of Tangerang Regency

Dangers of "obesity"

The increase in police personnel every year makes the number not ideal. In 2019, the Indonesian Ombudsman has warned that the large number of police endangers the police institution itself.

"Looking at the size of the National Police, which has reached 300 thousand, if we don't stop this, it can make the entire Polri budget which reaches 105 trillion be used up for salaries, it has started like that now, 70 percent of the Polri budget is spent on salaries. The rest, 30 percent, That's a budget for capital activities, such as building headquarters and operations. It's dangerous if the number of personnel is not detained," said Ombudsman member Adrianus Meliala as quoted by Detik.

In 2020, the National Police received a budget of Rp104.7 trillion. The agreement has been stated in the 2020 State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN). The National Police's budget has increased compared to 2019 of Rp94.3 trillion and Rp98.1 trillion in 2018. It is known that the Police have a program plan. Some of them are the fulfillment of Almatsus, the fulfillment of official houses, dormitories and messes covering an area of 94,000 square meters, and the construction of SKCK Online in 100 Police Office.

On the other hand, Indonesia also needs more human resources and financial resources in other sectors, namely the education sector. Quoting the government website, the need for teachers in Indonesia is an acute problem and the distribution of national education quality has stalled due to the unbalanced proportion of teachers and the number of students.

In remote areas, a teacher can concurrently teach various subjects at three grade levels at once for dozens of students. In some areas some civil servant teachers tend to choose to teach in urban areas. Children in rural areas or hamlets are only touched by highly dedicated educators.

Every year thousands of PNS teachers retire, which reduces the number of teachers. According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, in 2020 there will be 72,976 retired teachers. This number contributed to the shortage of teachers, which reached 1,020,921 people.

That number will then increase in 2021. The shortage of teachers is predicted to reach 1,090,678 people and the number of people who have retired is 69,757 people. It is estimated that 2022 will experience a shortage of teachers to 1,167,802 people, with a total of 77,124 people retiring. By 2024, the shortage of teachers is predicted to reach 1,312,759 people.

No longer effective

It is undeniable that the community really needs the full role of the police. Given the large population of Indonesia, it also requires a lot of personnel.

But the problem is the recruitment system that needs to be evaluated and governance within the Police. Trisakti University Policy Observer Trubus Rahadiansyah saw that the number of positions and the complexity of the bureaucracy in the National Police caused public services to not run optimally.

"The need for the police is actually high, it's just that (the current one) is not evenly distributed. It needs reform and evaluation, first from the culture, which concerns integrity, competence, morality, irregularities," Trubus told VOI.

Not to mention, currently the Police are faced with changing societal dynamics. The public is now more critical and has high expectations of the role of the police. However, the institutional culture of the Police has not changed, it still seems rigid or feudal.

Weak supervision is also a matter of concern for the Police. Trubus added that the Regional Police Chief and the Resort Police Chief should be able to optimally supervise their subordinates so that they do not commit violations or provide bad service.

The negative image of the Police which is currently in the spotlight should be a lesson. So that even though they seem large in number, it will not be a problem for the community because they carry out their roles well.

*Read other information about the POLICE or read other interesting articles from Ramdan Febrian Arifin.

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