GPD urges safety during New Year's Eve celebrations - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPD urges safety during New Year's Eve celebrations

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - With the New Year fast approaching, the Guam Police Department is preparing to do all it can to keep residents safe as they ring in 2014.  Police are giving one warning to residents who choose not to celebrate responsibly.

"Guam Highway Patrol will be out in full force," warned Officer A.J. Balajadia, spokesman for GPD. "They will be out from 6pm on New Year's Eve and they will continue until 6am New Year's Day And they will evaluate whether they need to activate new years day at 6pm to carry it on to the next day. If the weather does not allow them to do DUI checkpoints, they will do roving enforcement, which is just as effective."

Balajadia says police will also be on the lookout for other traffic violations and not just drunk drivers, saying, "There will be zero tolerance for DUI and that's not just alcohol but anything that may impair your ability to operate a vehicle." He also says they'll also be looking for those who are shooting off homemade canons and other illegal explosives during the New Year's Eve celebration.

"Our officers will be assisted with the help of our Police Reserves and CAPE, and we have Operation Dragon and the Criminal Justice Task Force. They will be out in full force and they will be assisting with and looking for anyone committing any sorts of crime-such as discharging their firearm, homemade canons and other illegal fireworks that are illegal to have here on Guam," he stated.

And for those who like to break out guns and shoot into the air, police are giving this single warning - "he will request from the attorney general and court that part of the disposition of the individual is that the weapon not be released to the registered owner and it be sent for destruction."

The police chief is also looking to revoke or suspend the individual's Firearms ID, as well. Balajadia says those who have legally registered weapons should ensure that no one has access to them to use on December 31.

An incident three years ago resulting in a little girl being struck by a stray bullet is also a reminder for residents to stay inside and under concrete cover when they ring in the New Year. "It's probably bet that you take shelter under a concrete structure not tin structures. Every year we have at least one or more reported injuries," the officer told KUAM News.

Anyone with reports of illegal shooting or explosives should contact police at 475-8615 through 7.

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