Guam – A police presence on the new JFK Campus? That’s what the department of education is proposing. But a lawmaker disagrees with that idea saying police need to focus on critical issues, not get involved with campus policies.
There is a proposal to have a police presence in the near vicinity of the new John F. Kennedy Campus, actually at the corner of JFK’s school property. According to Department of Education Acting Superintendent Taling Taitano, DOE is working with the Department of Public Works, Guam Police Department , International Bridge Corporation along with the JFK Staff to determine if it is possible to build a Koban at JFK to have police present on JFK’s property. A koban is a small shelter where police officers can go in to do their reports and provide visibility to the public
Taitano says, “It’s something that we are discussing certainly having the police close by to the campus will help us with the safety of our students and certainly we would like to support the efforts of GPD.”
The main precinct will remain in Tumon. Taitano believes by having a police presence near the school will also protect the new school from vandalism.
Taitano says, “Part of the benefit to deter breakiuns at JFK and you know with their presence im sure the students will think twice about some of the horse play that might get out of control. We think it will be a positive influence on our students.
But Senator Adolpho B. Palacios Chair of Public Safety and law enforcement says he doesn’t see the justification for that. He questions why at that location, if there’s a problem the issue is not to put police officers there, the issue is to address the problem and cure the problem.
Palacios says if you are talking about a possible unrest within the campus then that’s an internal problem with DOE , they can correct that, they have the school resource officers, why haven’t they hired more people, maybe they talk about funding. The point is they have a system in place, how you employ that system you are the person who makes a six digit salary , plan it and then you have assistants plan it. It can be done without building a koban there.
Palacios says he doesn’t want to see kobans surround the campus and doesn’t want the police to stay on the campus because it will give a very poor image. He says if you do it with JFK, then the other schools might want there own police presence.
Palacios says, “Then GW will ask for that, then Simon Sanchez will want that, then Southern High will ask for that. Then it will become a police function. The police are already preoccupied with basic responsibilities providing safety within the streets. We have fatalities. If we can save a life why dont we use our resources for that.
Palacios says police officers need to focus on critical issues that belongs to the GPD, not contain potential campus unrest. He says that’s the business of DOE and the school board.