Bill authorizes all peace officers to enforce alcohol-free zones

Senator Amanda Shelton (file photo)

As part of an effort to maintain park safety, Senator Amanda L. Shelton, the legislative Chair on Parks, introduced Bill No. 95-36 (LS), which seeks to allow any peace officer, as defined under Guam’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission law, to enforce the Alcohol-Free Zones (AFZ) provisions and issue citations and fines to violators.

As the law currently stands, officers from the Department of Parks and Recreation Park Patrol Division and the Guam Police Department are responsible for the enforcement of Alcohol-Free Zones. However, due to an increase in activity, our community requires more manpower to monitor these areas and provide citations, if needed.

“Our parks are integral to our community’s well-being. Over the last year, we have seen an increase in the use of our public parks as families found them as places of solace and enjoyment in the midst of difficult times,” said Senator Shelton. “The maintenance of our public parks and the assurance of safety at these spaces lie at the heart of our recovery efforts.”

Under Bill 95, AFZs can be enforced by trained peace officers from the following agencies:

· Department of Parks and Recreation;

· Guam Police Department;

· Guam Fire Department;

· Guam Airport Police;

· Guam Port Authority Police;

· Department of Corrections;

· Department of Youth Affairs;

· Department of Agriculture;

· Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency;

· Office of the Attorney General; and

· Guam Marshals and Judiciary Probation Officers.

During the pandemic, law enforcement agencies collaborated to provide the necessary support to promote public safety. This measure, co-sponsored by Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje, Senator Clynton E. Ridgell, Vice Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes, Senator Telena Cruz Nelson, Senator V. Anthony Ada, Senator James C. Moylan, Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr., and Senator Christopher M. Dueñas, helps to further solidify those partnerships to protect our community and preserve our public spaces.

“Our parks are an important part of our island and culture. They provide a tangible reflection of the quality of life in our community. Especially during this pandemic, our parks provide gathering places for our families, social groups, and individuals of all ages and economic statuses,” said Senator Shelton. “Augmenting the workforce capable of enforcing our rules will dramatically increase public safety and keep our parks intact.”

(Senator Amanda Shelton Release)