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Bill changes requirement at GFD, DOC

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Controversy sparks over a pair of measures that seek to enhance the hiring requirements for the Guam Fire Department and Department of Corrections. Public Safety Oversight Chair Senator Adolpho Palacios wants current Department of Administration hiring requirements for fire fighters and corrections officers mandated.   

As a minimum qualification, Bills 295 and 296 would require all DepCor and GFD uniformed personnel submit to and pass a polygraph examination among other things. "It doesn't get amended unless we are involved and those have proven to be good standards and I don't think it would change it could only get better," said Palacios.

But GFD and DepCor officials wonder how it could get better, and are worried the measure would only make it more difficult for them to add to their already short staffed departments. DepCor spokesperson Lt. Antone Aguon and GFD Spokesperson Joey San Nicolas share the same concern, saying, "This bill intent is good but the issues we are concerned is of course the polygraph side of it, second we already have the POST Commission that is in the process of setting these standards and updating it. So this bill may be a little premature," he said.

"Specifically the polygraph and background investigation, we don't know what the cost to conduct those parts of the hiring process so and as it stands now we have no financial ability to support it should the law be enacted today," he added.

Palacios says the measure would put the two agencies in line with the Guam Police Department's minimum qualifications. He adds either way the POST Commission may have to review both measures, as they play a valuable role in setting the requirements for the island's law enforcement agencies.

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