Guam – Pulling police officers off the streets by shutting down an entire precinct can have several implications, but GPD Spokesperson Sergeant Paul Tapao says the cut has not negatively impacted the department.
Instead, it was a viable option which has allowed for the realignment of the officers to the Department of Corrections.
It has been one week since the Hagatna GPD Officers were re-assigned to Mangilao’s prison compound, and according to the Prison’s Director Tony Lamorena it has helped to cut back on costs during this time of financial despair. Specifically because of this arrangement, DOC has trimmed its need for overtime— originally budgeted for $940,000.00.
From October to January 1st, Lamorena states DOC expended half a million dollars in overtime. He attributes this to under staffing and the loss of 33 officers to attrition. The smaller staff, Lamorena says, forces DOC’s remaining correctional officers to work 12-hour shifts with five days on duty and two days off.
With a total of 37 GPD officers now staffing the Department of Corrections, work schedules have switch to 12-hours shifts with four days on duty and three days off. According to Lamorena, this saves DOC 20% in overtime expenditures.
The additional GPD officers also has allowed DOC to bring more Correctional officers from the perimeter into the prison compound. Lamorena says now half the officers manning the perimeter, the visitor’s center, HUB and conducting transport are from GPD. No police officers have been assigned to the prison’s housing units.
But even with the augmentation in staffing the DOC’s money woes are far from over.
Lamorena points out his 2018 budget was slashed by $3 million. That reduction, he says, is the reason the Correctional facility is unable to pay for the medical costs provided by the Guam Memorial Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Guam Police Department could not provide information relative to whether or not the Special Operations Division officers tasked with filling in the gaps left behind by the patrol unit are racking up overtime.