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More concerns raised over GPD promotions

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Guam Police Department's plans to promote three additional officers to the rank of lieutenant isn't sitting well with some on the force. While some are looking forward to a chance to move up the ranks, others believe the department's money could be better spent on other things.

"All the slots have been filled already, the previous promotion promoted 10 sergeants to lieutenants, there aren't any vacant lieutenant positions in the Guam Police Department. It hasn't even been identified in the 2011 budget," said GPD Captain Mark Charfauros. Fed up with the way the system is being run for the men and women in blue, Charfauros is speaking out after he learned that the GG1s for three additional lieutenant promotions and a certification list of seven candidates was submitted to the top brass' office for action.

He continued, "We are hurting as far as funding to get our patrol vehicles repaired, we are hurting for overtime, we are hurting all over this department and yet we're looking for promotions in the high echelon bracket, which is not the critical need of this department."

Law enforcement oversight chair Senator Adolpho Palacios agrees, saying, "Police officers are cut down from a 43-hour workweek to a 40-hour workweek on the assumption that there's not enough money; you think this is not going to cost the people of Guam, it's not going to cost GPD with the promotions...any promotion between now and January when clearly there will be a new administration, there will be a new chief of police definitely why can it not wait?" he questioned.

Palacios and Charfauros both feel that positions such as Police Officer I staffers and Sergeants are more critical and should be considered priority. Charfauros calls Acting Chief Ric Leon Guerrero's actions "unorthodox", as he says no formal announcements were made about the lieutenant promotions.  "I hope that they change this whole process because it violates the merit system, in which other officers were not given the opportunity to apply for these positions," he said.

Captain Chris Castro also previously raised concern on the issue.

While the Budget Office director confirms that GPD cannot open up any lieutenant positions since BBMR has not approved nor received any GG1s for the positions this fiscal year, Department of Administration officials say they have the GG1s for the promotions, which they believe will be funded through GPD's budget.

GPD Spokesperson Officer A.J. Balajadia also confirms that Leon Guerrero is still moving forward with the promotion process.

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