On again, off again mass transfers at GPD - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

On again, off again mass transfers at GPD

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Close to two dozen Guam Police officers were shuffled around in the department. It's what the new police chief hopes will shine some positive light on his agency.

The announcement that the acting chief of police rescinded his decision to transfer officers late yesterday is what officials are now saying was "a miscommunication", and that this is only the beginning of the plans the new top brass has to move the department forward.

Mercy Grino told KUAM News, "The miscommunication we had last night regarding the transfers, they are still going to occur and it's still effective this Sunday."  Grino, now the agency's new spokesperson, says it was late yesterday after all the confusion that Acting Police Chief Rick Leon Guerrero confirmed he had issued a transfer order to more than a dozen of his officers. In fact 19 transfers are being processed, including the head of GPD's Criminal Investigation Division, Captain Kim Santos, who will now be going to Forensics; and CID's Lieutenant Joe Carbullido, as well as many of the other officers who participated in the execution of a search warrant at the KUAM Studios last week.

Grino would not confirm if the transfers are related to the raid, saying it's a personnel matter. She does say this action is only the beginning of the new chief's plans to restore the public's confidence in the department.  "Inline with the chief's news media (conference) on Tuesday, the chief wants to shuffle some key personnel around to fulfill the mission of the police department," she said.

Amidst allegations of possible interference from Adelup as a reason for the alleged rescinding of the transfers last night, the acting governor's chief of staff, Carlotta Leon Guerreo, says her boss was made aware of and fully supports the moves.  "His transfers are intact," she noted. "I was speaking to him yesterday afternoon and into the evening and again this morning, so his transfers are intact and the acting governor, Mike Cruz, stands in full support of the steps that Chief Rick Leon Guerrero is taking right now."

Also of note is that KUAM News did speak with Governor Felix Camacho's chief of staff George Bamba today, and he confirmed that several officers went to Adelup on Wednesday morning informing them of the transfers. Bamba says he told the officers that he didn't want to involve himself in the operations of GPD.

He adds that it's the chief's prerogative to make whatever decisions for the department.

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