The tale of a Chieftain’s Son Who Becomes a Police Officer

Albertus Mabel, the son of a Dani Chieftain, Yani Mabel, has chosen his path to become a police officer. Instead of becoming the rightful heir of his father throne in the tribe that lives in Pegunungan Tengah (Middle Mountain), Jayawijaya Regency of Papua, Mabel finished his study in police academy on July 2013, and inducted by the President at the time, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Papuan Police officer
Albertus Mabel is proudly hold his father hand (Yani Mabel) after his police academy graduation. Via

Even though, he has chosen to become a police officer instead of following his father’s footstep, Yani Mabel is very proud of his son’s achievement. His pride is shown by his happiness when he saw Albertus graduated the from police academy in his graduation day.

“Wah…wah…wah…,” said Yali to his son, cited from Tempo (“Wah” is an expression to congratulate some one in Papuan language). At that time, his father came to Albertus’s graduation day wearing an orange batik with a Cenderawasih bird pattern and headband decorated with Jacob bird’s feather. He said, while hugging his son, that he is very proud of his son’s achievement.  He took a long trip from Papua to Surabaya just to come to his son’s graduation. Moreover, he is very proud of his son because he said that as a Papuan police officer, his son is going to be in the front line to protect the safety and defend the unity of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

“I’m proud of my son because he is going to participate in protecting this nation. I also want to protect this nation and I will always protect it,” said the Chieftain, cited from Tempo. As the Chieftain of Dani tribe, Yali often go abroad to promote the Papuan culture, some of the nations that he usually visit are Spain, Japan, and Russia.

When his son chose to become a Papuan police officer, instead following his footstep to became the next chieftain, Yali supported his son’s decision. His support to Albertus decision, has changed the conservative tradition in Dani tribe, especially the taboo of letting a child to live far away from his/her parent.

The presence of a Albertus as an heir of the Dani Chieftain in the police academy is very much welcomed by the police officers.”Let me introduce you, he is a Dani Chieftain that lives in Anemayogi Village, Kurulu Regency, Jayawijaya. His name is Yali Mabel,” said Bekto Suprapto, the former Head of Provincial Police (Kapolda) North Sulawesi and Papua who sat next to him, cited from Tempo.

The 2013 graduation that was taking place in the Banda Field of Indonesian Navy Academy, Bumimoro, Surabaya, has graduated 735 students as police and Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) officers. Albertus’s decision to become a police officer is influenced by his relatives that has suggested him to join the police academy. Albertus took that suggestion and his decision was fully supported by his family. Not only that, one of his little brother, Wamili, has also decided to follow his footstep of becoming a police officer. Albertus and Wamili’s decision to become a police officer is expected to set the example for other people that live in marginal areas that becoming a police or TNI officer is not too far fetched. Hence, they can also contribute in protecting the nation and its citizen.

He hopes that he will become one of the high ranking police officers, instead of the next inline chieftain. Furthermore,  Albertus also hopes that he can follow the footstep of Kapolda of Papua, Police Inspector general, Paulus Waterpauw, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Minister of Transportation, Vice Admiral Freddy Numberi, to become one of Indonesia’s future leader from Papua.