GPD crowdsources intel about graffiti, other crimes - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GPD crowdsources intel about graffiti, other crimes

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They're the eyes and ears of the community - they're the island's village mayors. That's why the Guam Police Department is requesting their help in a new initiative to do intelligence gathering from the community members themselves.

"We're talking about graffiti, possibly illegal dumping, even drug activity. Anything that the community can provide intel, information to police. If the community feels they cannot come to the police station for whatever conflict they have with the police department, they can go to their mayors, and fill these forms out and provide that information to the mayors," explained GPD Detective John Balbin of the Juvenile Investigation Section. He's referring to a form called the Criminal Intelligence Report.

The report was recently presented to the island's mayors.

"We met with the mayors and we solicited their help in regards to gathering intelligence with some of the problematic areas of their village. We've established a criminal intelligence report. Basically what we did is pass it out to the village mayors," he said.  Recently, intel from a community member helped solve a crime. Specifically, a parent recognized a name that was graffittied onto a building. "A tag name, for example," Balbin said. "People who graffiti put tag names and its significant to a particular person - we've actually solved a burglary complaint because of a tag name. A parent was very vigilant who recognized the tag name and was able to identify who the kid was."

And crimes like graffiti aren't easy for GPD to police - they're also expensive. "It's costing the Government of Guam a lot of money and it's our effort at least in addition to what we do on a daily basis to try and curb this type of activity. We all know that the department is only that big so with the help of the community we could gather some evidence to start putting some crimes to rest," he shared.

Aside from village mayors, GPD is also looking to work with school administrators who work directly with the students.

Ultimately though, the responsibility rests with parents. Balbin said, "Because we deal with minors ultimately if a minor gets caught after hours and gets caught in the process of committing not only graffiti, but any crime. There's a possibility that the parents responsible because ultimately parents are responsible for their children," said Balbin.  "We need help. In regards to this, we can't be everywhere at once. But other people can. And some people are afraid to come to the police station and say, 'Hey, look this is what happened...', but they can come later and provide this information. We'll look it up."

Visit your village mayor if you want to provide intel to police. You can also call the Guam Crime Stoppers at 477-4357 (HELP) or call the Juvenile Investigations Section at 475-8553.

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