By Johnnie Rosario
(Tumon, Guam) Sen. Jim Moylan is pushing his co-worker, Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje to hold a hearing on Mr. Moylan's legislation that will prohibit Guam Police Department from funding the executive security program.
The program provides the detail of highly-paid police officers to guard the governor, the lieutenant governor, their residences, and their offices. Two Guam police officers currently are guarding Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero on her taxpayer-funded trip to Korea. The officers, one of whom is AJ Demapan who makes a gross base salary of nearly $50,000, accrue overtime for every hour beyond eight hours in every 24-hour period that they are off island.
"Considering the present state of public safety, specifically as it pertains to manpower shortages in a number of agencies keeping our community safe, it is practical that any funds allotted to GPD be utilized to assure that we continue to increase police presence in our neighborhoods," Mr. Moylan wrote to Mr. Terlaje.
Mr. Moylan's words speak for itself and for the concerns of many throughout the island:
"Nothing in this legislation precludes the procuring of Executive Security, but what is being requested is that this expenditure come from the budget allocated to Adelup. Bill 190 would free up additional officers for the police force, and as someone who proudly wore the uniform in the past, I am sure you can relate to the importance in the objective of this legislation. With this in mind, we humbly request that a public hearing be held for this measure so the community can express their voices on the matter.
"We appreciate your assistance and your commitment towards prioritizing public safety. I am also open to sitting down with you to discuss this measure further. Let’s move forward, not just for the sake of assuring that we take the steps to properly staff GPD, but also for the sake of keeping our neighborhoods safe."
The legislation, Bill No. 190, was introduced on August 5, 2019 and still has not had a public hearing. According to the Legislature's Standing Rules, a bill must be heard and reported out by the committee it's referred to before the full Legislature can consider it.