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Police chief on the hot seat over OT

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The chief of the Guam Police Department was under fire this afternoon as senators took aim, unloading multiple questions about his plans and in some cases what appeared to be the lack of organizational control in order to address the police department's overtime dilemma.

After nearly burning through all the money appropriated for overtime this fiscal year, Police Chief Fred Bordallo has come up with a plan that enforces stricter measures to reduce OT costs at GPD. "That directive the purpose of it was to have everyone down from the front lines to understand that they have to ensure that the overtime if any overtime is worked that they have to channel it up for justification because we are certainly in a tight budget right now," he detailed.

This news follows the recent discovery that one officer received $50,000 in overtime in a period of three and a half months. That officer was detailed to Executive Security and was assigned to Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio's wife, Attorney Naoko Shimizu. The chief's memo includes measures to limit overtime work, including submitting written requests prior to any scheduling of overtime, more detailed and effective schedules and deployment of resources, shorter patrol briefings, and a cease on police escorts.

And while the plan has senators concerned that it could compromise public safety, Bordallo disagrees, saying, "This overtime policy even though we told don't be calling anyone from off-duty to come over when we already have people on-duty who can provide for the adjustment to the shift that will not compromise the security to the public."

According to Bordallo, out of the $1 million that was appropriated for overtime pay, the department only has enough to fund two more pay periods. After that they must tap into the Supplemental Appropriation Revenue Fund to access another $1.5 million dollars to fund OT for the rest of the fiscal year. And aside from addressing overtime, the chief was pelted with questions on what exactly is his plan then to hire more police officers to alleviate OT costs.

The chief could not provide anything in writing.

As a result, following the oversight hearing Senator Brant McCreadie introduced a bill to allow GPD to hire a minimum of 200 officers over the next five years.

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