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Officials unsure of locale for GPD HQ

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - It's still uncertain where the Guam Police Department's headquarters will be situated come the end of this fiscal year, this after legislation hoping to extend the lease for GPD at the Tiyan facility was discussed today and shot down by the owner's of the property.

The measure is Bill 45 that would authorize the police department continual operations of its headquarters and administrative offices in Tiyan until a permanent facility is constructed. The bill was introduced by Senator Adolpho Palacios, knowing the lease for GPD would expire this September. However, immediately the legislation received unfavorable support.

"We cannot support the bill in its current form, but we do have some recommendations that would be a very good balance to the airport and the community of Guam at large, said Guam International Airport general manager Mary Torres, adding that the bill would jeopardize the costly plans they already have in place for the site GPD's headquarters is sitting on.

"It might keep GPD in those facilities indefinitely which is something we need to avoid because they clearly have to move by September 2011. We have a lot of plans that are affected by available grants monies, and once those grant monies expire then we have no recourse so we don't want to lose the opportunity to get those grant monies. The grant monies specifically would demolish those old building and there's no doubt that those building are extending their usefulness and they really have to be taken down."

While the senators pushed for assistance from the airport on the matter, Senator Ben Pangelinan questioned the funding, which Torres says is slate for the military airport program

Torres says the funding is necessary as the military does have emergency landings at the airport. She adds Guam is one of 14 destinations nationwide to get the funding. With the 2008 memorandum of understanding that GPD would move out this year, Torres did provide supplemental legislation today that would allow for GPD to remain in Tiyan, but at another site - the former Guam Customs and Quarantine facility.

While the top brass says that the opposite end of Tiyan is a possible alternative for headquarters for GPD, he also admits that there isn't enough room to hold all the divisions. He says that he will put out a RFI to accommodate the rest of the office space needed.

Chief of Police Fred Bordallo says they are also working to the Department of Education to see if they can share the interim JFK High facility. "Right now, they were renovated, I think it would be sufficient enough for partially moving some of our HQ into those customs HQ but also be are looking at other potential sites that people have approached our department with," he said.

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