First two fire stations and now one police precinct has become the latest to fall victim to the governments cutbacks. The administration confirms the Guam Police Department Hagatna Precinct is shutting down operations in the islands capital on Sunday. This latest drastic move follows a meeting with public safety officials at Adelup earlier today. The officers assigned to Hagatna will be sent to the Department of Corrections to reduce operational spending, and safety personnel like park rangers, conservations and customs officers, airport and port police will be shifted to pick up the slack at GPD.
“I want to make very clear to the public that GPD has a plan in place that ensures a limited impact on the public safety of our community. Absent a funding bill from the legislature, we have no choice but to make these deep cuts,” GPD chief of police JI Cruz stated.
The administration blames this decision on the inaction by lawmakers to act on multiple bills that they say would have helped to cover the $67 million shortfall that resulted from the Trump Tax reforms.
The legislature has since recessed special session to discuss the measures after the holiday break, but they could be going back sooner. An opinion from the Attorney General’s office states: “The Governor has express authority to call multiple special sessions at any time. It is the opinion of our Office that the Legislature did not have the authority to refuse to hear the call of the Governor’s special session on March 2, 2018.”
Lawmakers are now set to go into special session at 9:30pm tonight.
Meantime the administration confirms it would begin implementing cost-cutting measures across the board to include reducing overtime, no new hiring, reducing overhead costs, and the ongoing furlough process.