Frank Ishizaki returns to GPD as police chief
by Nick Delgado
Guam - New acting chief of police Frank Ishizaki is stepping in to the Guam Police Department, and his first order of business, he says, will be to regain the public's trust in "Guam's Finest". Governor Felix Camacho made the decision after meeting with the new top brass Monday to ensure that he can fill the position for the remainder of his administration.
"I'm a believer in a professional police department," said Ishizaki, "and I want to make sure that we have a professional police department. And if there's a gap we need to fix that and improve on it." He'll be picking up the pieces after the forced retirement of former chief of police Paul Suba, who was forced to step down after a search warrant was executed at the KUAM Studios in Harmon. Agents from the Criminal Investigation Division were searching for a single piece of paper related to Police Trainee John Edwards.
At least two others under Suba's watch were hired with polygraph results ruled to be "inconclusive", while Edwards was hired with "deceptive" results. Although the new top brass says in GPD's defense, they did get judicial approval for the warrant.
Ishizaki says he would have handled the situation differently, saying, "I have a certainly different attitude toward dealing with the media, but I would have to get all the facts before I could give a definitive response, though I might have acted or not acted." He said, "During my watch I made sure all of the requirements were met, but I don't want to comment on what Chief Suba may or may not have done. I don't know I wasn't sitting at the time, and so part of my briefing would include seeking answers to those questions."
Involved with the execution of the search warrant was former head of CID Captain Kim Santos, who, like much of the CID agents involved with the KUAM raid, was transferred to different departments after Ric Leon Guerrero was appointed acting chief. Ishizaki admits he will review those transfers.
The day after Leon Guerrero was appointed acting chief he immediately sent the transfer orders out; they were at first rescinded after certain officers from CID visited Adelup complaining. The following morning, GPD made another announcement - this time that the transfers would stand. "I need to spend time with Major Ric and chat with Chief Paul Suba to get a perspective on the series of events that led us to all those situations," said Ishizaki. "And my preferred approach is to get a good briefing, a good layout, a good situation awareness before I make any decisions."
In the meantime, Ishizaki also defends questions raised about the honorary deputy chief of police positions that he created years ago. He says he sees no problem with the positions, so long as standard operating procedures defining the individual's practices and confidential agreements are in place. "I see nothing wrong with that if they have people dealing with confidential packages we might even recruit volunteers who want to be CSIs and go out with the cops to process the crime scene take the pictures and collect the evidence and I see nothing wrong with that as long as we have a standard operating procedure."
Ishizaki will remain as chief of police for the remainder of the Camacho Administration's term. He says he is willing to undergo the entire confirmation process all over again.