Amendment to initiate pay scale plan for peace officers passes

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Senator James Moylan (PNC file photo)

The initial steps towards establishing a Uniformed Leadership Structure and Pay Scale Plan for Peace Officers are a few actions away from achieving fruition.

Senators James Moylan and Telena Nelson introduced the proposal as an amendment to Bill 55-36 (COR), which is the budget bill for Fiscal Year 2022, and which Senators concluded their discussions on late Saturday night.

If enacted, the measure, which mirrors Bill 34-36 (COR) that was introduced by Senator Moylan at the start of the year, would authorize the POST Commission to establish a General Force Leadership Structure. This would essentially provide for an efficient and uniformed process for transfers if an officer would like to leave one law enforcement agency for another, without their rank and/or pay scale being adversely impacted.

The measure would further authorize the POST Commission to create a Pay Scale Plan for Peace Officers to help improve retention numbers, as every law enforcement entity is losing officers each year due to an array of reasons. Better compensation opportunities being the most common reason. Bill 55-36 (COR) also provides a $75,000 funding provision to help the commission with this long-awaited compensation plan.

“Each year we lose a number of good officers to federal or private positions where salaries tend to be higher. The reality is that the Government of Guam is funding the training of new officers, yet within a year we can easily lose these young men and women, and realistically we can’t blame them for the opportunities that are provided out there with law enforcement positions,” stated Senator Moylan. “This amendment is administrative in nature. It will authorize the POST Commission, which comprises the heads of all the Peace Office entities, and they will merely establish, among other things, a pay scale plan. This will then be brought to the legislative table for discussion in terms of identifying the total costs and funding to enact the measure. It is a start, but a process which should have been initiated years ago,” added Senator Moylan.

The Amendment passed 10-2, with three lawmakers excused due to an absence. Bill 55-36 (COR) will be voted by Senators of the 36th Guam Legislature on Tuesday evening.

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