Hundreds of applicants attended the first-ever public safety job fair held Saturday at the Outrigger hotel.
Representatives from different government and law enforcement agencies assisted the applicants as they went through the application process.
According to Department of Administration Director Edward Birn, DOA received at least 300 applications for various public safety positions as of Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Adrian P. Cruz, senior policy advisor at the Governor’s Office, said the job fair is one way of thinking outside the box, in terms of addressing the community’s concern for public safety.
“In meeting with our partners, the Governor’s office has really wanted to find a way to think outside the box to try to help with our public safety situation in getting more officers and other public safety officials. We decided to have this job fair. We’ve worked intimately with all of the agencies and we are very pleased with the turnout,” Cruz said.
For his part, DOA Director Edward Birn had this to say: “We at DOA process all of the applications. We do all of the testing that is needed to make sure that all of the applicants satisfy mostly all of the written tests and other tests before we pass them out to the agencies for interview and hopefully for eventual recruitment.”
A shortage of personnel has been a recurring problem at public safety agencies such as the Guam Police Department, Department of Corrections and the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency. Officers leave the service through retirement and attrition, while some move to other local or federal agencies.
GPD Capt. Kim Santos said that with the passage of the 2020 budget, GPD projects to hire at least 40 additional police officer trainees.
“This is a continuous job announcement that is allowing us to fill positions that are vacated by police officers who either retire or seek other jobs, and basically through attrition,” Santos said.
Major Antone Aguon of the Department of Corrections added that the process is ongoing and it doesn’t mean that there won’t be more in the future because the job announcement is continuous.
“So we would continue to be able to pull from the eligible candidates should officers retire, resign, or again, move on to other careers,” Aguon said.
Prior to the job fair, the heads of the different public safety agencies underscored the need to address staffing challenges.