How big are the savings from moving displaced cops to DOC? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

How big are the savings from moving displaced cops to DOC?

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Not patrolling the streets, but patrolling the prison. Some 37 GPD officers who were previously detailed to the Hagatna precinct now work alongside prison guards. Their new duties are part of the administration's cost-cutting measures. But how big are the savings?

How much savings is GovGuam realizing by removing GPD officers from the Hagatna precinct to the prison? Do the math and that's about $600,000. DepCor Director Tony Lamorena breaks down the figures. In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, they've already accrued half a million dollars in overtime.

That means a year's worth of overtime at DepCor alone will cost GovGuam upwards of $2 million. With GPD on prison grounds to supplement manpower, Lamorena says they'll save about 40% in overtime costs for the remainder of the fiscal year.

"Budgeted by the legislature, for this year, i believe it was about $940,000," said prison director Tony Lamorena. As of the first week of January, the pay period, we already expended more than half of that. So we're talking three, not even four months into the fiscal year and we've expended more than half of our overtime."

But, why so much overtime? In the past year, Lamorena says they've lost 33 guards. Their numbers are back up, thanks to a move by the Calvo administration over the weekend that shutdown the Hagatna precinct and assigned those officers to the prison instead. "As a result our overtime has skyrocketed. The governor realized that during these trying times, financially, we had to curb our overtime. So by moving manpower into DOC, that would assist us in curbing overtime," he added.

The transition not so simple, however, as Lamorena reports that GPD officers can't work in direct contact with prisoners. "We thank them for helping us with our manpower shortage," he said, "but we also have to taken into consideration their safety these are the very same individuals that arrested everyone that's confined here at DOC. We're trying as much as possible not to put them in harm's way."

That leaves GPD officers to duties at the Visitor Center, the Intake Hub, perimeter watch, and transport, to name a few.

Duties, Lamorena maintains, are just as important as those in the facility. "What we'll do is pull back our DOC officers that are filling those current workloads and moving them into the facility. Our officers, for example, who work in the visitors center. We'll pull some of them to work in the facility and have GPD officers fill their gaps at the Visitor Center," he said.

At any given time, there will be seven to eight GPD officers working alongside prison guards on duty. "We will have one officer from DOC there to oversee the GPD officers and brief them on how operations are done in those respective areas," said Lamorena. "Transport, for example, we have a GPD officer and a DOC officer piggybacking on each other for transport to the court, medical runs, psych runs, dental runs and so forth, rather than having two DOC officers in that transport run, we can move that one DOC officer back into the complex in the ACF where we need the manpower."

According to Lamorena, they have just over 200 prison guards. Ideally, they'd need 300 to operate at full staff.

We should note, the prison was on lockdown today because radio lines were down. Guards, both prison and police officers, were allowed to use their mobile phones as a result. The lockdown, Lamorena reports, will be lifted once radio lines are back up and running, which they are currently working on with iConnect.

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