Republican senator James Moylan has criticized the administration for hiring two deputy directors despite other more pressing needs, including the need for more officers at the Department of Corrections.
“In the past 10 days, we have seen the celebratory hiring of two deputy directors, both of less critical agencies, yet other than general statements, we have not heard any details on how the administration will hire additional peace officers, considering the archaic hiring policies in the books,” Moylan stated in a letter to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
He added: “Now we are hearing that any plans to address the public safety concerns from the town hall meetings will not be released until the end of the year. We are heading into a holiday season where crime numbers increase, and all our people ask for is optimism. That comes with an urgency in transparency in terms of how the government plans on addressing these problems.”
In his letter, Moylan also followed up on any details the administration can share when it comes to addressing what he called “the public safety crisis.”
While Moylan said he was not asking for the complete plan, his inquiries included what steps the executive branch was pursuing with regard to the hiring of peace officers and if legislative activity was needed.
Moylan reminded the governor of the introduction of Bill 245-35 several weeks ago. He asked if this bill could be considered urgent in order to assist the administration in expediting the process of hiring officers, by relaxing certain personnel rules associated with processing candidates.
In response to Sen. Moylan’s release, Director of Policy Carlo Branch issued a statement saying:
“We appreciate Senator Moylan’s concern for public safety. The challenge is we don’t know which Jim Moylan we are dealing with,” states Branch.
“Is he the guy who wants us to spend millions more in new personnel at GPD or the guy who voted against more money for GPD in the current budget but presented no alternative of his own? Our plan to hire more officers is simple. The Legislature gave us the budgetary authority to hire and that’s what we are doing.”
Moylan also asked that if Adelup chooses not to share the details with his office, that they share it with the public instead, but to do so expeditiously. He emphasized that this issue should not be tangled in politics and instead should be about transparency.
“Providing some details and displaying some action would go a long way towards building back the confidence of the community. If the same emphasis on prioritizing the placement of Christmas lights at Skinner Plaza would be applied towards addressing the public safety dilemmas, more of our residents would be able to sleep better at night,” the senator said.
Moylan added that he will continue his village town hall meetings, with another one being scheduled in Dededo on Dec. 12, as a means to find additional ways to address changes towards existing policies.