Overwhelming support for Cruz as police chief - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Overwhelming support for Cruz as police chief

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His resume speaks for itself. And today, dozens of family, friends, and colleagues spoke of Joseph Cruz character. There was nothing but love and support for the acting chief of the Guam Police Department, who appeared before lawmakers this afternoon for his confirmation hearing.

He's comparable to a superhero.

8-year-old Ella Marie Cepeda said, "Daddy, you are as smart as Iron Man. As strong as The Hulk. As fast as Superman. As brave as Batman. As handsome as The Rock and GI Joe. You are my favorite superhero. I love you, Daddy." But don't her word for it. Her father, acting chief of police, Joseph I. Cruz could be the force's saving grace.

According to longtime members of GPD, Cruz's first 64 days on the job have been transformative. GPD secretary Susan Reyes said, "First, he has merged two offices, the Chief of Police and the Police Commander Offices to cut costs on equipment use and this has also created an environment where personnel from these two offices get closer with one another and start working as a team."

Mark Charfauros added, "What I have observed is he has brought us together. He has brought this department where we've had a lot of infighting and finger pointing and we seem to come together and we seem to gel together under his leadership."

The rave reviews for the top gun continued for over two hours.

Tom Babauta with the Guam National Guard added, "A combat environment pushes people to extremes. It brings out the best and the worst in individual. I was impressed by Mr. Cruz's disposition and leadership style under extreme stress in an austere environment. He takes time to analyze situations and is not afraid to make tough decisions. He is a hard-charging, no-nonsense individual."

When head-to-head with lawmakers, Cruz had all the right answers to give them peace of mind. "I bring a strong sense of leadership new revitalized perspectives," he shared.

After serving as a US Marine from 1985 to 1993, Cruz returned to Guam and joined GPD in 1993, where he served in multiple positions. Cruz left the police department in 2003 and returned to active duty military service with the Guam Army National Guard where he retired as a major in March. The acting chief has a bachelors of science degree in criminal justice, a masters of public administration degree, and is currently enrolled in a public policy and administration Ph.D program specializing in criminal justice which he anticipates to complete in December 2017.

Cruz's nomination will be addressed in August session.

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