For more than three decades, the branches of the national military bore the responsibility of maintaining law and order in Indonesia. As part of the progress of democratization since the end of the Suharto administration, however, the People’s Consultative Assembly formally decided to separate the National Police from the rest of the military in August 2000 and give them the role of maintaining domestic peace to the exclusion of the other branches. With the responsibility of ensuring the safety of the citizenry, the role of the National Police has greatly expanded. Given their recent separation from the military, establishing the manner in which they should improve national safety while providing democratic police services have become a major issue in Indonesia.
As a civilian police force, the National Police must earn the trust of the people and maintain the peace of the nation to ensure a secure living environment for the citizens. Because of the critical nature of building political stability and investment growth for economic development, the Indonesian government requested Japan to provide assistance in reforming the structure, system and personnel of the National Police. In response, Japan began implementing the Support Program for Reform of the Indonesian National Police.
In October 2005, the chief of the National Police adopted POLMAS (community policing) as the core program for reforming the police organization, working toward achieving police activities that are rooted in the community. This program provides assistance in creating a POLMAS model and introduction it.