Patrol cars in desperate need of repair - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Patrol cars in desperate need of repair

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Guam Police Department's decision to proceed with three lieutenant promotions, at any cost, has continued to raise significant concerns.  With the department's ailing fleet of patrol cruisers to respond to emergencies, there is growing concern of where the money is coming from to pay for these specific promotions.

"Right now, we're asking for tires, oil, for both motorcycles and vehicles; it's risen the amount of money that were requesting for almost $100,000 more," explained Lieutenant Andrew Quitugua, who leads GPD's Support Division and oversees the maintenance of the agency's fleet. Each day cruisers are breaking down leaving officers less equipped with what the need to respond to emergencies.  "Unless we fund it then well be in the same state that we've been in for months right now."

The police department management had considered using money appropriated to fix patrol vehicles to fund the three lieutenant promotions that they say is critical to the department. But Public Safety Oversight Chair Senator Adolpho Palacios says during a meeting with Acting Chief Ric Leon Guerrero this morning, it was revealed that the department is actually going to use the money set aside for officers' increments to pay for the promotions.

"If the chief of police is going to use that, then that means that there are officers and employees not receiving increments in which case its still not satisfactory explanation," he said.

Palacios says the department should be more focused on putting new police officers on the streets instead of more officers behind a desk. He's asked for them to delay the promotions until the new administration comes in, but there's a push to get them done before that happens.

He said, "And then your still going to go to promotion, you haven't paid the overtime you haven't the 10%. Come on - this is crazy management, crazy management."

While there had been concerns that GPD did not put out a new announcement for the three positions, the department of administration confirms that the previous listing of eligible individuals is still valid.

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