National Police Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: July 1, 2024

National Police Day in Indonesia National Police Day, also known as Bhayangkara Day (Hari Bhayangkara), is an Indonesian professional holiday celebrated annually on July 1. It commemorates the 1946 government decree stating that the Indonesian National Police is responsible directly to the government.

Back when Indonesia was known as the Dutch East Indies, the military and the colonial police named the “field police” (veldpolitie) were tasked with law enforcement. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in World War II, the occupational authorities trained local young men to performed police duties and armed them with confiscated Dutch guns.

The Indonesian National Police originally named the National Police Agency, was founded on August 19, 1945 — two days after the proclamation of Indonesia’s independence from the Netherlands. However, National Police Day doesn’t commemorate its founding anniversary. Instead, it honors the anniversary of the 1946 resolution that placed the National Police as a national agency subordinate directly to the national government.

Since the first days of its existence, the Indonesian National Police units participated in military action, for example, in the Indonesian National Revolution and the suppression of the 1948 Communist Party of Indonesia rebellion in Maduin. In 1962, the National Police officially became part of the Indonesian National Armed Fores.

After the fall of Suharto’s regime in 1998, the new government of Indonesia initiated a number of reforms, one of which was the separation of civilian law enforcement from the military. In April 1999, the Indonesian National Police split from the armed forces; the separation process was formally completed on July 1, 2000. Since then, the National Police has been under the direct auspices of the President of Indonesia.

The Indonesian National Police has over 590,000 employees, both men and women. The organization of the National Police has a hierarchical structure. Its headquarters is situated in Jakarta. Below the headquarters there are four hierarchical levels:

  • regional police (POLDA), covering entire provinces;
  • departmental police (POLRES), covering regencies and cities;
  • sectoral police (POLSEK), covering districts;
  • neighborhood/village police NCOs (BHABINKAMTIBMAS), covering villages and urban communities.

The Indonesian National Police also includes special units, such as the Mobile Brigade Corps (the special operations, paramilitary and tactical unit) and Counterterrorism Special Detachment 88.

Indonesian National Police Day, commonly referred to as Bhayangkara Day, is marked by parades, award ceremonies, and other events celebrating the Indonesian National Police. However, some Indonesians feel that the occasion does not deserve celebrating, since Indonesian police is widely known for its incompetence, corruption and violence and has been linked to human rights violations both within the force (for example, physical virginity tests performed on female applicants) and directed against the general public.

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National Police Day in Indonesia, holidays in Indonesia, professional holidays, Indonesian National Police, Bhayangkara Day