Guam Police Department should recruit Micronesian police officers

Dededo residents suggest hiring officers of different ethnicities in meeting

Life long Dededo resident, Vangie Cepeda, expresses personal safety concerns she and her family have experienced recently in the village, as she speaks during a public safety meeting at the Dededo Senior Center on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Cepeda suggested that the amount of police officers assigned to the Guam Police Department's Northern Precinct Command be increased to efficiently serve the number of residents in the village. (Photo: Rick Cruz/PDN)

Dededo residents on Wednesday offered their suggestions to reduce crime on Guam to include education, better communication, hiring police officers of different ethnicities and implementing the government's list of proposed action points.

After two village meetings in Mangilao and Tamuning, government officials have compiled a list of action points raised to deter crime.

Dededo’s meeting was the third in a series of meetings organized by the governor’s office, the Mayors’ Council of Guam, the Guam Police Department and the Federated States of Micronesia consul general’s office.

The meetings were in response to the June 4 machete attack in Mangilao. Police said two men struck passing cars on University Drive with rocks and machetes, damaging the cars and chasing after a bicyclist.

Ben Servino suggested that GPD recruit officers who are from the Federated States of Micronesia.

“We need to do a better job at communicating with our brothers and sisters from the FSM states. In fact when we start recruiting more officers I think we should recruit more people from the FSM so they can help with the communication issue, so they can help educate.”

FSM Consul-General Teresa Filepin said government officials are putting their heads together to find solutions to make the island safer.

“On what we’re facing here on Guam, I really want to say that violence and crime doesn’t have race and ethnicity attached to it,” Filepin said. “So when we generalize a group of people saying that they’re all criminals because they came from the FSM, that’s discrimination."
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