In what is supposed to be a solemn Friday prayer, a bomb explodes inside a mosque in Cirebon regency, West Java. At least one dies while dozen of others are injured. Ironically, the explosion occurs nearby the regency policemen office where, of course, is a homebase for them.
Aside from condemnation against the attack, I myself regard the explosion is like a thunder in a sunny day. It slaps our, particularly, policemen’ faces. As if the suicide bomber would want to say,” Hi policemen! Back at your business!.” How could not it be?
A week before the explosion, Indonesians are busy talking about a lower-ranking officer namely Norman. Through his Indian act while singing famous song “Chaiya, Chaiya”, people now have a new idol. Thanks to You Tube. Norman becomes a sudden star, attends interviews, be present at TV shows, even receives a scholarship to enroll acting school. Amazing!
Has this country been so desperate with their leaders so as it put him as a new idol? Thank God, this funny news intermezzo stops.
Back then, I once dream to be a policeman. It is in my top dream job after teacher. Being a journalist is definitely off the list. I just follow my parents’ opinions who say being policemen is a promising profession thanks to high salary they receive monthly. Also, look at them! Tall, good-shaped body. In my village, policemen are about good reputation. Laymen really count on their opinions.
Unfortunately, or luckily, I am too short to be a police woman. I am not really good at sports. So, I do not go for that profession. I dislike it anyway!
Positive perceptive about policemen linger in my head during my childhood till I hear enough stories from my neighbors how policemen escort motorcyclists at the end of the month because of unclear reasons.
My nephew once says,” may be policemen are running out of money thus they stop motorcylists to ask for money while making use of nonsense excuses.”
My nephew even remembers some certain spots where policemen usually wait for victims. He reminds me not to forget to wear helmet and bring with me legal documents if I am about to pass the certain spots.
When I arrive at the capital, Jakarta Police Office is my no-no coverage area. My first experience to seek for news at the Office is a failure. Apart from going back at the office empty-handed, I meet an arrogant officer who keeps on talking and talking. I swear that I wont go there anymore. I prefer to go to far places and do hard writing instead of spending hours at the Police Office. But as what people say, “never say never.”
I am stationed at the Police Office several years later to substitute my fellow journalist. Despite boring hours I have to undergo, I learn a valuable lesson that not all policemen are ill-tempered. I have opportunities to prove to myself that there are some of them who can appreciate journalists well. They can be warm, too.
Since then, I consider policemen as equal as other sourcepersons. Sometimes, I forget they still need some respects from laymen like me. For instance, my fellow journalists who often cover news at the Police Office know “ethic code” to interview high-ranking officials. Usually they say words like “Yes, Commandant!” before starts asking for questions. Its like a special greeting. However, I never want to use the word “commandant” simply because I regard policemen are as equal as other sourcepersons, be they farmers, businessmen, or government officials. I say Mr or Mrs instead.
May be I am overshadowed by common secret that say how policemen are identical with bribery. I have not had any bad experiences about it but I hear enough on how much money my neighbors have to pay in order to become a police officer. And my father surprisingly is asked for giving some amount of money when he wants to enroll a police academy. Since he does not have enough money, my father buries his dream.
The close linkage between bribery and policemen is so clear that even one radio station in the capital often teases that issue during brief broadcasts that aim at informing listeners on traffic regulation.
The radio presents conversation between road users and policemen on traffic topics. Sometimes, the road users want to bribe the policemen so as they can escape from sanctions. But of course, the policemen reject it. Here, the radio portrays perfect officers who are funny, friendly, but firm. The broadcasts last only for few minutes. This public campaign quick show is one of my favorites. I like the way the station educates people attractively. I always smile while listening to the broadcast not only to digest road users’ silliness but also to grasp the irony that is present in each broadcast that brings up bribery issue. If policemen from the Jakarta Police Office do listen to the broadcast and let the bribery issue be the center of the conversation, does it mean they agree with the rumour???