Guam Police dealing with loss, questions - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam Police dealing with loss, questions

Posted: Updated:

Aside from family members, perhaps the group most affected by the shocking incident of an officer's death after a shooting in Yigo, resulting in the arrest of one of their own, is the Guam Police Department itself. A GPD chaplain says it is a very difficult time for officers, with so much grieving and questioning going on.   

Pastor Louis Torres of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is a member of the Guam Police Chaplain's Department, a multi-denominational group that counsels both crime victims...and officers, too. The pastor says the hurt runs deep over the death of Officer Bert Piolo and arrest of Officer Mark Torre, Jr. "There's no question," he began, "that anytime something as horrible as this is happens to a police department, everyone is affected. The department right now is shocked, and those who are closest to it, dealing with the frustration, the anxiety, etc. will need counseling."

Torres has also been chaplain at an Oregon Police Department, and his brother is a long-time police officer.  He knows that the culture of police officers often makes it difficult for them to seek help.  His job as counselor is to gain their trust, and understand that while the entire department is grieving, different people grieve in different ways.  "Once you understand what they're grieving about, then you can help them cope with grieving. How do you deal when there are no answers, how do you deal with how to go on. And so depending on the type of grieving that they're having will determine what kind of advice and counsel you can give them," he explained.

The pastor says officers will likely grapple over a variety of emotions as they try to come to terms with such a tragic incident. He says all of these need to be identified, and addressed, saying, "It may be that the person who was lost was a close friend to somebody who is now angry. You know, my buddy is gone. And that also leads to anxiety, to thoughts of revenge, all those kinds of things that can occur. So you have to counsel people, find out where they are.  What is it that's hurting, and where is it that they're hurting? Then you can advise them point by point with the particular emotion that they're dealing with."

What the department is dealing with is unlike anything that's happened to it before.  An officer accused of killing a fellow officer. Pastor Torres says the public needs to remember that officers are just people - people who in times like this need to be supported.  "One of the things that is important for the officers is to try to bring comfort to them," he continued.

"So in death, the only comfort you can bring is faith.  A person with faith has a better ability to cope with these kinds of situations, then a person without faith."

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Suspect found hiding in mango tree

    Suspect found hiding in mango tree

    Police found one suspect hiding at the top of a mango tree after officers responded to a break-in at a Merizo home early today. 27-year-old Craig Christian Nauta and Nate Lujan are charged burglary and criminal trespass.

    More >>

    Police found one suspect hiding at the top of a mango tree after officers responded to a break-in at a Merizo home early today. 27-year-old Craig Christian Nauta and Nate Lujan are charged burglary and criminal trespass.

    More >>
  • Adelup sends FOIA request for senatorial travel

    Adelup sends FOIA request for senatorial travel

    In another hopeful effort get the issue of improving the Guam Memorial Hospital moving forward, the Calvo Administration sent out a Freedom of Information Act request to the speaker's office requesting info on medical travel for senators from the 32nd, 33rd and 34th Guam Legislature's. Adelup officials saying they want a better understanding of which senators receive regular medical treatment at off-island facilities. This they say may answer the question why there has been no public...More >>
    In another hopeful effort get the issue of improving the Guam Memorial Hospital moving forward, the Calvo Administration sent out a Freedom of Information Act request to the speaker's office requesting info on medical travel for senators from the 32nd, 33rd and 34th Guam Legislature's. Adelup officials saying they want a better understanding of which senators receive regular medical treatment at off-island facilities. This they say may answer the question why there has been no public...More >>
  • Guam gets grant for sex offender registration

    Guam gets grant for sex offender registration

    More than $300,000 the US Department of Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing awarded Guam that much in grant money. The Guam Judicial Branch will get the funding to run the Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program. It will assist the local courts in developing and enhancing the sex offender registration and notification programs.More >>
    More than $300,000 the US Department of Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing awarded Guam that much in grant money. The Guam Judicial Branch will get the funding to run the Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program. It will assist the local courts in developing and enhancing the sex offender registration and notification programs.More >>
Powered by Frankly