Ordot/Chalan Pago residents on the lookout for criminals - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ordot/Chalan Pago residents on the lookout for criminals

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - It's no secret crime is on the rise.  With public safety officials struggling with manpower and resources to respond to each and every emergency call around the island, some villages are taking matters into their own hands.

"This a serious issue.  We understand that there are flaws in the system as far as combating crime and we can talk about GPD and what they aren't doing and what we feel they should be doing but when you step back and think about it, there are things that we as a community should be doing as well," explained Jessy Gogue. And true to his word, that's exactly what the Ordot-Chalan Pago mayor has been doing.

He told KUAM News, "Most of what we see in this community is really theft of property.  We've been advising the residents probably for the last year to make sure that if they're leaving valuable items outside they need to start thinking really hard about a way to secure these items."

Over the last 18 months he has put out a weekly newsletter providing pertinent information to residents in his village. "I've always encouraged residents that even if you suspect that something is out of place you know with today's technology, people are always carrying around phones that have good camera capability, take a photo send it to us.  If something pans out we'll distribute it/"

And it has paid off...significantly.  "When we started doing this 18 months ago it actually resulted in a reduction of crime. We probably saw a 40% reduction in crime. Because then the people we have over 400 residents on the mailing list but obviously those 400 are just the ones that awe have on the mailing list we've seen people forward it on to other folks that live in the village. It gets out there and it gets out there fast," Gogue explained.

In doing so, the mayor says they've been able to identify areas where there is more crime and put residents on notice of what's happening and to be alert, adding, "What we're trying to do now is actually stop it. To find all of these folks that think that they have free reign on committing theft to the people in this community and we want to stop it no matter how petty it is this wanted poster that I put it, minor things were stolen and the fact is they were stolen. And if you have this one person doing it enough times, that can add up substantially to what he has stolen from different homes and we need to hold these people, even the petty thefts, accountable for their crimes."

Gogue urges residents, not just in his village but around the island to report anything out of the ordinary and provide detailed descriptions of suspicious individuals and vehicles in their neighborhoods or even use their cell phones to take pictures.

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