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Ishizaki cleaning house at Guam Police

by Nick Delgado

Guam - The new top brass of the Guam Police Department wants to clean house. Acting Chief of Police Frank Ishizaki says he hopes to do just that by calling on his rank-and-file to lay all the cards on the table regarding any improper actions that they are aware of in the force. 

In an effort to restore the public's confidence in GPD and restore order to the force, Ishizaki is offering an amnesty period to all uniformed and civilian personnel.  "We have a department that's in turmoil," he stated, "and I think we just have a very few number of employees that have caused some problems, I don't know who they are necessarily but I want us to move forward."

Ishizaki says anyone who owns up to any improper actions may be forgiven.  "Abuse of official vehicle, unprofessional conduct in the streets of Guam, there's a whole family of less than professional conduct that police get into on a regular basis, and I think you know that my message is we want a professional police department," he said.

As for any criminal acts, the acting chief says he can't guarantee immunity - but he will make favorable recommendations to the Attorney General's Office if someone comes forward.  The top brass believes some of the problems in the department may have stemmed from concerns raised during the recent lieutenant promotions.

"I think we've got to remind everybody that we have the merit system in this Government of Guam and this department is no different from the rest of the government and promotions should be based on merit and that's where I'm coming from," Ishizaki added.

While Ishizaki believes that a plan should have been debated and alternative solutions should have been developed prior to executing a search warrant at the KUAM Studios in Harmon for a single piece of paper, he confirms that an investigation into the leak isn't could be revived. "With all the movement of personnel, I think that kind of stopped and we'll have to evaluate whether we need to continue that probe," he said.

"I don't think our officers did anything to cause any problems; they believe what they executed was lawfully their duty, and I'll leave it at that.  And I hope we can improve in how we deal with the media and any future actions that may become necessary."

Ishizaki has already made changes to transfers that took effect following the search warrant at KUAM - specifically he assigned Sergeant Ken Mantanona and Officer John Mantanona back to the Government Corruption Task Force, saying there are pending cases and complex investigations that need to be completed.  "Having spent my time as an agent and John Mantanona, I'm not sure what his role was, but it was very, very minimal in that particular search.  So I have a lot of confidence in John Mantanona and I need to have him finish those investigations, and to tell somebody else to pick up those cases would be next to impossible to get them done" he said.

As for former police chief Paul Suba who remains on annual leave waiting for a position to return to the force, Ishizaki said, "I'm sure I'll have more talks with him and pursue whatever request he has and if those are within legal authority then I'll certainly consider him."

Ishizaki also confirmed that he is considering putting Captain Kim Santos back to lead the department's Criminal Investigation Division (and possibly others), but he will first consult with the bureau chief and police commander before making that decision.

The acting chief meanwhile will make a determination next week on how long he will offer the amnesty program, but confirmed that he's already received a few calls from employees today.

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