Buleleng Bali Tourist Police

Ready to Serve and Explain

There are about 1,700 expatriates living in Buleleng. Their residences are spread over nine sub districts of Buleleng but most of them live in Lovina, Kayuputih, Bukti, Temukus, and some other villages not to far away from Singaraja. There are also foreign and domestic visitors that come to Buleleng every year. They who mostly don’t speak Indonesian or Balinese language sometimes find it difficult to communicate with Bali people. They also sometimes get security trouble such as robbery or theft. How do they will get over it? Well, the answer must be to find the tourist police office. There are three tourist police offices in Buleleng: the tourist police office in Lovina, Gitgit and Banjar hot spring. There are no tourist police offices at the eastern part of Buleleng because there are no places of interest at that area.
I went to the tourist police office in Lovina. At that time, the police was serving a Norwegian tourist who wanted to find an address. Unfortunately the English of the police is not yet so good, so it was difficult to explain the way that should be taken by the tourist to get to the address. One of them used gestures to give direction. I saw their problems and then helped the police to give the right directions. Fortunately, the tourist got my point and happily left the office.
At the Buleleng police headquarter at Pramuka Street I met my friend, Made Yogi, who works as a tourist policeman. I told him about what had happened at the tourist police office in Lovina. He admitted that the tourist police in Buleleng still get difficulties whenever they try to help the visitors especially the foreign visitors. Language is the first problem. There are 29 personnel of tourist police and only two of them who graduated with a bachelor degree, one was graduated with diploma only, and the rest were graduated from senior high school. This fact makes the ability of the tourist police in helping foreign visitors cannot be maximized. One way to solve it is by getting the police to join language courses and also get them to higher education such as college.
Komang Putra, Yogi’s friend told me that there are only two languages mastered by the police, English and Japanese. But the personnel who master the languages also cannot be 24 hours present at the office and the visitors who need help are unpredictable, they could come anytime. Body language and gestures are the common options taken when they have to serve the foreigners. He said that the office is provided with complete equipment such as a set of computer, dictionaries, white board, and announcement board to give better service to the visitors. The announcement was written in three languages, Indonesian, English, and Balinese to avoid misunderstanding from the visitors about tourist objects and the Balinese as the subject of tourism.
An other problems is the cross culture problem. Misunderstanding due to culture differences commonly happens and the police tries to solve the problem by being patient to the foreigners and also by widening their knowledge about the foreigners’ culture. The last problem is law system that of course is different between countries. The tourist police sometimes have to be really patient in dealing with very stubborn foreigners who reported problems to them. In this case, Yogi said that tourist police’s duty is only to accept the report made by the foreigners before passing it to the crime section at Buleleng Police headquarter (POLRES). The police have to explain it clearly to the foreigners that Indonesia has different law system and the foreigners have to follow and obey the system.
Yogi said that some foreigners were understanding about the law system differences in Indonesia but there were also some foreigners / expatriate who were so stubborn that they refused to follow the system and insisted to be treated as their law will do in their country. “We are trying to be so patient in dealing with this kind of foreigner / expatriate and luckily, at the end, this kind of foreigner understood about our law system and they stop complaining about it” Yogi added gladly.

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