GPD management talks officer complaints - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPD management talks officer complaints

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The Guam Police Department laid all their cards out on the table on Friday evening, expressing how they handle community complaints against their own, and how there is a definite need to ensure the officers are showing respect. Newly confirmed Chief of Police Fred Bordallo explained the agency is working to rebuild the community's trust with GPD.

During a roundtable discussion last night before the Law Enforcement Committee, the top brass along with his management staff listened to the complaints from residents who claim police harassed them after being mistaken for the wrong vehicle. The top brass responded to the complaints. He said, "They're not suppose to talk down; officers are suppose to be very professional and give you the best courtesy and respect."

The chief also admits first year rookies are high-risk officers for the department and are required to partner with veteran officers. "They can have five and a half months, they can have eight months at a police academy, but they learn more on that first minute they get into that patrol car and they're on the street," stated Bordallo. "It's incumbent upon the supervisor when he looks at his shift to look at who he has as veteran officers, who's the one who's new and then he has to monitor that new officer and he has to make sure not to negate that he has to also look at the veteran officer and make sure they are not slacking off and doing something unethical."

Bordallo presented a proposal to his rank and file, saying, "It's all about ethics in our department and I challenge our officers to walk a straight line, be professional and treat the citizen like yourself, with respect."

Committee chair Senator Adolpho Palacios says the problem is the outcome of the Internal Affairs grievances is not given to the complainants. He says the public can go directly to the chief or the police precincts to file their complaints. Palacios also offered his office as a venue to ensure the complaints are moving forward.

Jonathan Hudson, whose vehicle police suspected was involved in a hit-and-run incident, claimed the officer harassed him, and after the hearing told KUAM News he is not satisfied until his complaint is resolved.

However, GPD Captain Steve Ignacio says they are providing courses for the public to better learn how officers are trained and what officers go through daily. "Sometimes people don't understand that there is a standard course of instruction for a felony pullover, and when you're dealing with a felony this is how it's done, this is how it's taught," he explained. "We don't carry guns and just carry it on our hips, we carry it when the need arises and we need to use it. It has to be taken out of its holster and used or presented."

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