The newly appointed Police Chief for Bali and former lead investigator in the Bali terrorist bombings, Irjen Drs. Made Mangku Pastika, is coordinating an entire range of heightened security measures in anticipation of the trials of more than 30 suspects charged in connection with the October 12th bombings.
Massive Police Presence
A combined force of 3,000 police officers, 400 military, and 400 pecalang or community defense force members will be jointly deployed to maintain public order during the course of the trials, expected to last six months and be covered by some 400 members of the international media.
Special Role for Pecalang
Community defense force members, traditionally dressed local civilian patrols drawn from local village units or banjars, are expected to play a key role in maintaining peace during the trials.
On Friday, May 9th Police Chief Pastika met with the head of Pecalang Association of Denpasar (PPKD) to discuss coordination of the volunteer force and distribute black t-shirts proclaiming "Let us build and protect Bali" to be worn by the forces members. Cautioning the local forces to always wear a smile as well as their new t-shirts when carrying out their duties, Pastika reviewed plans for heightened neighborhood watch programs throughout the capital city during the coming trials.
More Security at Ports and Airports
On Friday, May 5th the head of the Jembrana sub-precinct of the island's police, Jhonny Latuperisa, told the press that the police presence at the ferry crossing between Java and Bali has been increased, including a number of plain clothes officers on board every ship making the 45-minute crossing of the straits between the two islands. Similar measures are in place at the ferry crossing between Bali and its western neighbor, Lombok.
Chief Pastika's Wish
In comments made to the local press on the eve of the trials, Police Chief Pastika asked community members and the police to be vigilant in protecting the process of the trial, suggesting those wishing to view the trial do so from a distance by watching the live coverage on local and international TV.
Quoted in the English language Jakarta Post, Pastika said "I just want to secure Bali for the trials. Their outcomes will affect the people of Indonesia. I just want to show the world that Indonesia can hold the trials in a transparent way."
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