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Jakarta Post

Police chief in Riau fired for lackluster performance in handling forest fires

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru   /   Wed, January 22, 2020   /   07:03 am
Police chief in Riau fired for lackluster performance in handling forest fires Firefighters battle a blaze in a peatland forest in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra, on Aug. 10, 2019. Thousands of extra personnel are being deployed to prevent a repeat of the 2015 fires, which were the worst in two decades and choked the region in haze for weeks. (AFP/Abdul Qodir)

The Riau Police have fired a local police chief for his lackluster performance in handling land and forest fires in the province's Pelalawan regency.

Second Insp. Hindro Renhard Panjaitan was dismissed from his position as Teluk Meranti Police chief after failing to address raging forest fires in Teluk Meranti district in Pelalawan, where fires and haze have been repeatedly experienced during the dry season.

Hindro's dismissal was an indication of the police force's determination to ensure officers’ performance and readiness in anticipating forest fires and haze, particularly since police personnel had committed to striving to mitigate land and forest fires long before the dry season came last year, said Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Agung Setya Imam Effendi.

"Every police officer in Riau should be prepared and serious in handling land and forest fires. In the meantime, realizing the commitment of zero land and forest fires and zero haze is the focus of the Riau Police," Agung said on Tuesday.

Separately, Pelalawan Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. M Hasyim Risahondua said that Hindro had been replaced by Second. Insp. Dimas, who previously worked in the police's traffic unit.

"The dismissal is proof of the commitment in our efforts to anticipate and mitigate land and forest fires, especially in areas that see forest fires and haze every year," Hasyim said. "If one lacks seriousness, one will face the consequence of being dismissed."

He said personnel who were serious and anticipated forest fires would be rewarded. 

"The reward will be in accordance with the intensity of their work in the field. All achievements will be reported to the Riau Police chief," he said. (gis)