The men and women in blue filed in at the legislature in hopes that their fiscal year 2020 budget request is approved by legislators.
A total of $37 million is how much money the Guam Police Department will need to maintain public safety within the community next fiscal year.
“That includes primarily the cost to recruit 40 police officers for next year. We add that 40 plus the 24 that we have on hand. So we anticipate with this budget request that we will realize a little over 60 officers in the year if all goes well,” GPD Chief of Police Stephen Ignacio said.
The cost of employing one patrol officer taking into account salary benefits and equipment is about $50,000. While hiring more officers is a priority, Ignacio acknowledges that there is a shortage of officers at precincts around the island
“We do redistribute our personnel and sometimes we draw personnel from within other bureaus. We pull them out and put them on patrol,” Ignacio said.
To help resolve its personnel problem immediately, the department is hoping to entice volunteer police officers who may want to offer their time to the department by increasing the monthly stipend from $250 to $500.
Ignacio says that over the years GPD has seen a reduction in the number of volunteer police officers who actually show up for duty. Currently, there are over 70 volunteers but on a monthly basis, less than 20 volunteers regularly. The department is also looking into ways to obtain federal grants to help offset the department’s 2020 budget.