GPD launches investigation into cop - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPD launches investigation into cop

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - When investigating why a police officer had been absent from duty for several days, the Guam Police Department uncovered information that has prompted the force to enforce the war on drugs internally. It all began with suspicions about why a police officer was no-show/no-call for several days.

"Development of this investigation has determined that there is possible allegations of substance abuse," began Chief of Police nominee Captain Fred Bordallo. "This is very serious because in the Guam Police Department you can't perform if all of a sudden you are abusing drugs and if it's illegal drugs."

The captain says it's a serious situation as GPD - along with the rest of the Government of Guam - maintains a drug-free workplace. While an internal affairs investigation is underway to get more details about why the officer went AWOL, Bordallo confirms the officer has been placed on administrative leave and the police credentials and firearm have been taken away. If the investigation isn't completes when the 20 days of administrative leave are up, the officer will return to work on limited duties assigned to the bureau chief of investigations.

Cpt Bordallo would not confirm if the officer was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, which falls under the Bureau Chief of Investigations.

While this particular officer didn't come forward admitting to using illegal drugs, the chief says GovGuam's Safe Harbor Policy allows workers, including police officers, to come forward and seek help and not lose their jobs. "I want officers to know out there that if you have any substance abuse problems, you can come forward and we can direct you and ensure you have your treatment necessary for you under the Safe Harbor rules," he explained. "But if we catch these officers without them coming under Safe Harbor, then they are going to face appropriate disciplinary action for their conduct."

And while he's cleaning house dealing with this and other ongoing investigations into police officers accused of crossing the line, Bordallo says he's confident that more than 90% of the force is doing their job right and walking a straight line. "So I can assure the members of the public that even though we have these bumps in the road that some officers are being scrutinized and their performance, the department overall that I've taken the helm of, is really doing a great job out there and doing the best they can with the limited resources that we have available," said Bordallo.

As part of his commitment to the public to have a quality force of men and women in blue who wear the badge and swore to uphold and enforce the laws, Bordallo says he intends to implement drug testing for the entire department. He points out that the testing isn't because of the ongoing investigation, but previously part of his discussions with the governor and lieutenant governor.

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