The National Police
Since 1945 Indonesia's National Police organization has
a national force, financed, directed, and organized by the
central government. The strength of the national police
1992 was around 180,000. Its main duties were to maintain
order and security. Like the other armed services, the
considered themselves to be a social force active in
development, and therefore they participated in the armed
services' civic missions.
The commander bore the title of police chief and was
highest ranking uniformed police officer in the nation. He
assisted by a deputy police chief. Police headquarters in
included a staff and several separate administrative
handled specialized police functions. The police had its
territorial organization made up of seventeen
of which was known as a Police Regional Command (Polda).
Polda was administratively subdivided at the district,
subdistrict, and village level. Polda Metrojaya, which had
responsibility for the metropolitan Jakarta area, was
into precincts, sections, and police posts. It was
referred to as the Jakarta Raya Metropolitan Regional
Each Polda had its headquarters in a provincial capital
was assigned police units varying in strength and
according to the needs dictated by the characteristics of
area. These forces were organized as city police forces or
units and were under the operational command of the Polda
commander, who in turn was directly responsible to
police headquarters. All police elements were charged with
supporting the local government in their areas.
Functionally, the police were organized into a number
specialized elements. The largest of these was the
police, which included both the general police, who
conventional police duties relating to the control and
of crime and protection of property, and the traffic
patrolled the nation's roadways and supervised the
drivers and the registration of motor vehicles. Also part
uniformed force were the women police, who specialized in
matters and the welfare of women and children. Elite units
special police were employed to enforce order in terrorist
situations beyond the capability of the regular forces.
units were better armed and more mobile than the general
and lived in separate barracks under more rigid
police wore the same uniform as other police but were
distinguished by special badges.
A small unit of Sea and Air Police patrolled the
waters and airspace, providing tactical aid to other
regulating traffic, guarding against smuggling and the
fish, and supplying transport. The unit was also active in
disaster relief. Its equipment included a few helicopters
light airplanes and various small seacraft.
Plainclothes police were assigned primary
criminal investigations, especially in complex cases or in
involving several jurisdictions. They also handled
intelligence, security, and the technical aspects of crime
fighting, such as fingerprinting and identification.
One of the oldest National Police units was the Mobile
Brigade, formed in late 1945. It was originally assigned
tasks of disarming remnants of the Japanese Imperial Army
protecting the chief of state and the capital city. It
the revolution, and its troops took part in the military
confrontation with Malaysia in the early 1960s and in the
conflict in East Timor in the mid-1970s. In 1981 the
Brigade spawned a new unit called the Explosive Ordnance
In 1992 the Mobile Brigade was essentially a
organization trained and organized on military lines. It
strength of about 12,000. The brigade was used primarily
elite corps for emergencies, aiding in police operations
required units to take quick action. The unit was employed
domestic security and defense operations and was issued
riot-control equipment. Elements of the force were also
for airborne operations.
Police recruits were volunteers. Applicants were
have at least a sixth-grade education and to pass a
examination. Other qualifications included physical
good moral character. After three years' service as
police, personnel with junior secondary-school diplomas
enter training to become NCOs. Those with three years'
as NCOs were eligible for further training to enable them
become candidate officers and eventually enter the officer
Most higher ranking officers entered the force as
the Police Division of Akabri.
Advanced training in vocational and technical subjects
available for regular police, for NCOs, and for officers.
Promotions were often based on performance in advanced
The Police Command and Staff School offered advanced
police officers assigned to command units at the
district, and Polda level. Training there focused on
administration and logistics.
Data as of November 1992