New Visitor Safety Officer Program launched - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

New Visitor Safety Officer Program launched

Posted: Updated:

by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Guam is marketed as a safe and family destination, and in order to provide that confidence to our visitors, a new Visitors Safety Officer Program officially launched today.  

It's been in the planning stages for months and today Governor Eddie Calvo gave his sign of approval. "I say thumbs up! Looking good!" said the island's chief executive.  Today the Visitor Safety Officer Program was officially launched offering locals and visitors a stronger sense of safety and security in Tumon - one of the busiest parts of the island and Guam's tourism capitol.

GVB board chairman Mark Baldyga describes it as a breed of both park ranger and hotel concierge, telling KUAM News, "They're a guest concierge for people on the street, and they're also there for safety and security we kept hearing from the Japan Guam Tourism Council that they're concerned about security and after the 2/12 incident we wanted to do something about it."

The program is funded through $400,000 out of the tourist attract fund. G4S was contracted by GVB to provide the safety, security and concierge services to our biggest industry. "Our goal was to meet and or exceed those expectations while giving our visitors a safety and memorable experience in Guam," explained Paul Suba.

The program actually started on August 1 and so far consists of nine VSOs who will patrol from bishop circle all the way to gun beach and streets in between. "They come from a diverse background - we have GPD Reserve officers, at least three or four among them, active and inactive military, college graduates complete with masters degrees," he said.

The group also consists of former GovGuam leaders, Justice Academy graduates and former GPD retirees some of whom have multi-language capabilities and trained in disciplines relevant to safety and security. Suba said, "One of the things I do appreciate with this program, is if they're intoxicated not only do we get a hold of the proper authorities, GPD in particular, but we we're able to talk to family members that are there with those that partying to help them understand the dangers of getting in the water after being intoxicated."

The program actually started on August 1, and VSOs have already helped prevent five drownings. They're also tasked with directing and assisting visitors to areas of concerns, escorting to destinations, helping children who get separated from their families, ensuring both visitors and locals keep trash and debris of the beach and roads, and educate visitors on weather conditions. The VSOs will be equipped with defensive items along with vehicles such as scooters, jetskis and Segways. He says the program however cannot succeed without the collaboration from GPD, GFD and security at the island's hotels.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Outback Steakhouse staffers feed homeless in Dededo

    Outback Steakhouse staffers feed homeless in Dededo

    On Monday our friends over at Outback Steakhouse volunteered their time and food to feed the homeless at the Dededo Mayor's Office. They grilled on site and fed over 70 individuals who came out to enjoy some good old fashioned barbecue, Outback style! Outback Steakhouse is closed temporarily for a major remodel and renovations. It is expected to re-open in early December. The renovation is part of their 20th Anniversary activities and while renovations are under way, the team have b...More >>
    On Monday our friends over at Outback Steakhouse volunteered their time and food to feed the homeless at the Dededo Mayor's Office. They grilled on site and fed over 70 individuals who came out to enjoy some good old fashioned barbecue, Outback style! Outback Steakhouse is closed temporarily for a major remodel and renovations. It is expected to re-open in early December. The renovation is part of their 20th Anniversary activities and while renovations are under way, the team have b...More >>
  • Mark Charfauros informed of slight delay in his trial

    Mark Charfauros informed of slight delay in his trial

    Will he make his comeback to the Guam Police Department? He'll need to have his case settled in the courts before the Civil Service Commission will entertain his termination appeal. Former police colonel Mark Charfauros appeared in court on Tuesday. There he was advised there would be a slight delay to his February trial. When asked if parties would reach a resolution instead of going to trial, defense attorney Randy Cunliffe stated "I doubt it." Trial is now scheduled ...More >>
    Will he make his comeback to the Guam Police Department? He'll need to have his case settled in the courts before the Civil Service Commission will entertain his termination appeal. Former police colonel Mark Charfauros appeared in court on Tuesday. There he was advised there would be a slight delay to his February trial. When asked if parties would reach a resolution instead of going to trial, defense attorney Randy Cunliffe stated "I doubt it." Trial is now scheduled ...More >>
  • Chief judge dismisses case against GEB members

    Chief judge dismisses case against GEB members

    It's official. In an order issued this week, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood dismissed with prejudice the case against two Guam Education Board members in their individual capacities. They are Rosie Tainatongo and Jose Cruz, both of whom resolved their issues with Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez. If you recall, Fernandez filed a $7 million lawsuit in the federal court after the board terminated his contract. No action was taken for the remaining GEB membe...More >>
    It's official. In an order issued this week, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood dismissed with prejudice the case against two Guam Education Board members in their individual capacities. They are Rosie Tainatongo and Jose Cruz, both of whom resolved their issues with Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez. If you recall, Fernandez filed a $7 million lawsuit in the federal court after the board terminated his contract. No action was taken for the remaining GEB membe...More >>
Powered by Frankly