BANDA ACEH, Indonesia – Police in Indonesia’s northwestern Aceh province put the spotlight on themselves on Monday as they carried out drug tests among their own officers, an epa journalist reports.
Following the tests Monday morning, around 500 urine samples were arranged on a testing table at a police station, with each container labeled with a number denoting the officer.
The testing campaign is carried out at least once a year to try and combat drug use among officers, and weed out those who might be involved in the drug trade.
Most officers Monday were enthusiastic about the tests, including a man named Saladin, a communications department chief who said the test is important to show the public the police are willing to be criticized by the people because “we know that many officers are involved in this drug problem.”
“This is like law enforcement among ourselves,” he said.
A female officer, named Nanda Karmila, said she was a little embarrassed to hand over a sample of her urine, but said she feels it’s good to show the public the officers are doing the right thing.
However, drug use among police in Aceh reportedly remains a problem, and though few officers are involved in syndicates or trafficking, many have been fired and stripped of their uniforms and ranks for using drugs.
Among users, methamphetamines – sabu-sabu in Indonesian – are the most commonly used substance.
Of the hundreds of urine samples tested Monday in Aceh, three or four produced suspicious results, and would require further testing to determine if drugs were present.
Aside from a few bad apples exposed from the tests, the campaign puts a lot of internal pressure on the police, and sets an example for the public.