Guam Community Police Review Commission looks for office space - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam Community Police Review Commission looks for office space

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - The Guam Community Police Review Commission was first established nearly 15 years ago and although the commission has only met a handful of times in the last year most recently just last month, not much action has taken place. And that may all change as the commission works to find a new home.

"My main concern is to get the commission going," said Asan-Maina mayor Joana Margaret Blas. She was recently appointed to the Guam Community Police Review Commission and serves as one of seven members. And recently, she went before the Guam Ancestral Lands Commission seeking assistance. "The request is to find an office space, a building so we the commission can establish and get a hold of entertaining grievances or any concerns that comes about to the commission from the Guam Police Department or the community," he said.

The request specifically is for authorization to utilize the former GALC office in Tiyan. In a letter to GALC, the GCPC say they fully understand that should the GALC approve its request, that it is temporary and subject to termination any time.

Land management deputy director David Camacho says the GALC were not only in support but approved the request. "We want the place to be well kept up and this is one thing that maybe it's a blessing in disguise that they came to us," she said.

The building has been sitting idle since the GALC was consolidated within land management and moved into the ITC Building in 2012. Camacho says the building is ready to occupy but needs cleaning along with power and water - but that's only one of the concerns. "With all this ongoing concerning the (Tiyan) parkway, we never know what's going to happen later down the line couple of months from now to next year, the parkway might, our place might get involved with the parkway," she said.

The Commission meanwhile currently holds what few meetings it has had in the GPD Chief's Conference Room. Blas says the GCPC needs to be in a comfortable setting that can store sealed documents and provide privacy away from an employers area. "How can we explain ourselves to the board if the director's right there next door so maybe the intimidation is there," she said.

Acting chair Larry Castro meanwhile tells KUAM that the GCPC has met "here and there" with its last meeting December 13 of last year. He says several members who were first appointed back in 2011 have actually resigned adding the commission hasn't and are unable to take any action as not only are facility and logistical hurdles in place but its bylaws and standard operating procedures are not even set yet.

He adds at one point a memorandum of understanding was in place between DLM and GPD for office space within ITC but eventually fell through. The Guam Legislature had actually approved a 150-thousand dollar budget for the commission to purchase computers, landlines, Internet and hire one person to man the office- none of which have been spent just yet.

Blas in the meantime says many may not know about the commission and hopes efforts to find a home will bring more attention to the community who may want to come forward with any complaints or concerns. "And as a member I feel that way and that's why I want to push this thing forward," she said.

The GCPC will be meeting January 15 at 2pm at the former GALC offices to allow its members to inspect the facility.

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