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GPD focus of oversight hearing

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - Chief of Police Fred Bordallo was in the hot seat this afternoon, taking questions from senators on the state of multiple issues confronting the Guam Police Department.

Deteriorating conditions at the agency's Crime Lab and Evidence Control Section were the center of discussion at an oversight hearing with the Guam Police Department. On Tuesday the Evidence Control Section was shutdown early after an officer assigned to the division expressed concerns about asbestos. As for the Crime Lab, it's been functioning without an air conditioner for several weeks and as a result concerns were raised about possible mold growth.

Tests and assessments of both facilities were conducted today, but it will be at least a week before the results are released from Industrial Hygience Professionals. Chief Bordallo says until he receives the results he can't say for sure the status of the Evidence Control Section, but, "As far as the Crime Lab, it's still operational I think they did an assessment they didn't find that there would be any mold and any of the civilians complaining about the mold but I am still concerned."

Bordallo says his plan of action to address the issues involves five points to ensure personnel health and safety, saying, "The first point is just making sure everyone is safe when someone says something about asbestos why aren't there signs posted if there is a particular area that we are restricted from going on to mitigate that so the first point is just the safety of the employees. The second point on our strategic processes here is looking at was there any impediment in having to speed up the procurement processing of work requests."

The third point is to prioritize the relocation plan for the Evidence Control Facility which he intends to put out a request for proposal and clear out items of non-evidentiary value. The fourth point is to look at the continuity of operations plans at the crime lab to continue the functions elsewhere if needed.

Finally, Bordallo says the staffing needs of the Forensic Science Division must be addressed. In response committee chair on public safety Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. says the Guam Legislature is a partner in the process and wants to ensure that if their services are needed to enact policies GPD shares the information with them so that they can act expeditiously. 
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