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Bali Police Chief Convenes Security Meeting

Bali Hotel Managers Attend Monthly Briefing to Coordinate Safety and Security Measures.

(8/17/2009) Beritabali.com reports Bali's newly appointed Chief of Police, General Sutisna, convened a meeting of Bali Hotel Managers and those charged with security matters on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, to coordinate the war on terrorism currently being waged across Indonesia.

Held at a Nusa Dua Hotel, the meeting's participants included Bali's Chief of Police Inspector General Sutisna, the operational chief of Bali's tourism police, the head of the Bali detachment of the elite Densus 88 anti-terror squad, managers of local hotels and their security chiefs.

Part of a monthly gathering held under the auspices of the Bali Hotel Association (BHA), these face-to-face meetings allow Bali's police to exchange the latest information on perceived threats, modus operandi employed by terrorists groups and the latest intelligence concerning the ever-changing security situation worldwide.

At the inaugural August gathering, General Sutisna declared that safety and security are a shared responsibility between the police and the local community.

The Bali police officials warned those attending the meeting that Bali's role as a world tourism destination makes its very susceptible to terrorists. Because of this, the island must remain vigilant in every aspect of its security precautions.

General Sutisna said, "the provincial police of Bali will always endeavor to keep Bali safe, coordinating with all elements of the community to achieve that goal."

The meeting also included a briefing on the recent bombing in Jakarta provided by the head of Bali's elite Densus 88 anti-terror unit, Dewa Putu Anom. Dewa warned that the Jakarta attacks proved that terrorists are still operating in Indonesia and are likely to continue to attack targets in all parts of the country. Potential targets include assets, national officials, infrastructure and international events and conferences.

The Densus 88 official said that an extensive program of software and equipment is in operation in Bali hotels. Among the measures in operation include CCTV camera and security doors. The anti-terror policeman told hotels to check their CCTV systems regularly in order to identify potential terrorists activities.

Dewa bemoaned the fact that some CCTV systems installed at some Bali hotels need better repair and maintenance.

Bearing in mind that terrorists are now known to recruit hotel staff, Dewa called for stricter checks to be carried out at both public and employee entrances to hotels.

The Head of operations for the Bali police, Hary Prasetya, told the security gathering that his office would soon establish a system of communication between hotel security teams and local police as a step toward enhanced coordination.

Hotels Fully Booked

The meeting also monitored arrivals to Bali in the weeks following the latest Jakarta terrorist bombing, reporting that visitor levels remain very strong, despite the threat of terror and a troublesome world economy.

August is traditionally Bali's high season. That fact, in combination with a major conference being held in Bali and an approaching "long weekend" meant that virtually all hotels in Ubud and the island's south were fully booked, just three weeks after the Jakarta terrorist bombings.