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The new civil service unit of the Bali Tourism Police has officially started its patrols.
The newly appointed officers will be out and about in Bali’s busiest resorts and main attractions, ready to help tourists in need and communicate the pros and cons of the island.
It was revealed earlier this week, much to the excitement of Bali lovers, that the 73 new Bali Tourism Police officers will be accompanied on their patrols by five specially trained Kintamani Bali dogs.
The six-month-old puppies have been in training for the past three months. They are ready to bring a smile to the faces of tourists, to be a reassuring support if people are worried and to be a conversation starter for the officers on patrol.
The dogs are not K9 security trained like sniffer dogs, but are trained to support officers even in higher pressure situations.
The dogs are well socialized, have all their vaccinations and are ready to meet Bali tourists, including small children and those with additional needs.
Bali Satpol PP provincial head Dewa Nyoman Rai Dharmadi told reporters that the new units on patrol will go a long way in improving the behavior of the small minority of misbehaving tourists on the island.
Dharmadi said, “Solving it completely is not yet possible, but minimizing disruption, especially in tourist attractions.”
“We are not alone. We are joining hands with our police colleagues and tourist attraction administrators together.”
Of the seventy-three officers who have been trained, 42 will be stationed in Badung Regency and another 31 officers will cover tourist attractions around the rest of the island.
Badung Regency-based units are already on the road and other units will follow soon. They are trained in providing tourist support, ensuring public peace and order and can communicate confidently in English.
Dharmadi said that the Satpol PP Tourism units are already fluent in English because they have just completed a full month of provision in understanding the language in addition to their police training.
Dharmadi noted, “Starting today, there is a separation of duties, shifts and operational vehicles. “There are two shifts from morning to afternoon and afternoon to 9pm at night.”
He added that the new officers will be ready to provide a guide-like service; any questions tourists may have about the area, they can help with directions, translate and interpret if things are getting confusing and much more.
If they see tourists disobeying the law or disrespecting local culture, they will step in and help correct the situation.
Badung Regency Police Chief I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegara also spoke to reporters as the first officers left for work.
He explained, “A bigger role is preventive and preventative actions, socializing tourism-related rules on what can/can’t be done in Bali, especially in Badung.”
He continued, “[They can] then provide tourists with information about the facilities of tourist facilities rebuke traders or tour guides when they commit criminal offences, as well as remind tourists that there are actions they can take that are helpful in preserving Balinese customs and culture that will be in force from February. 14.”
The officers were all smiles as they were out on their first day on patrol. Tourists can expect to see officers dressed in white polo shirts or brown collared shirts and khaki shorts.
This unofficial, hobo-like uniform was chosen to help make the teams accessible to tourists.
Officers will be outside and will be tasked with talking to tourists and simply checking in with them.
Tourists are welcome to chat as long as they like and hello to the puppies too. They are trained to stay still for pictures!