Community policing may be heading back to villages

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Senator James Moylan (file photo)

Guam – Sen. James Moylan has introduced Bill 100-35, which resurrects the Municipal Police Division as an entity of the Guam Police Department and creates a public private partnership to establish village kobans.

“Community policing would allow a strong presence of uniformed personnel in the villages, which is critical for the deterrence of crime.  Residents should no longer feel unsafe at home,” said Moylan.

Bill 100-35 would require that moving forward, no less than 1% of the projected amount of business privilege taxes (BPT) collected will be allocated towards the funding of the Municipal Police Division each year.

This would allow the recruitment of new officers and to continue the funding to maintain these officers in subsequent years.  With a projected $3 million for Fiscal Year 2020, GPD would be able to recruit an additional 30 officers to kick start the Municipal Police Division.

“With the government’s financial woes, creating public private partnerships would allow private money to be invested in projects that benefit the community, such as these village kobans,” Moylan added.

Residents who call for emergencies would have access to officers in minutes, and the municipal division would work collaboratively with neighborhood watch programs.  This allows GPD to utilize its existing resources in other aspects of the island.

The legislation further allows for a public private partnership in establishing village kobans.  A private entity would be able to contribute monies to create these entities and provide furnishings, telecommunications and/or vehicles, in lieu of tax credits.

Bill 100-35 establishes a cap of no more than $500,000 in tax credits, spread in 4 years.  This amounts to no more than $125,000 a year of an impact to the annual budget.  The kobans will remain within the management of the GPD.