Nelson’s enforcement bills advance to Adelup

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Senator Telena Nelson (PNC file photo)

Guam – Triptych legislation to enhance emergency response and demand higher qualifications from top law enforcers got the nod from senators this morning.

Public Safety Chair Sen. Telena Nelson (D) introduced all three pieces of legislation. Bill No. 325-34 (COR) would safeguard Emergency-911 system upgrades, while Bills 337-34 (LS) and 338-34 (LS) would mandate minimum qualifications for the directors of Customs and Quarantine Agency and the Dept. of Corrections, respectively.

Unicameral passage of Nelson’s legislation follows revelations during last summer’s budget hearings that E911 lockbox funds had been raided to pay other administrative budgetary obligations; and following Governor Calvo’s successive appointments of Eric Palacios as Acting Director of Customs and Quarantine and then as Deputy Director of Corrections, after Nelson refused to entertain the Customs and Quarantine appointment.

Nelson asserts that Palacios lacks the background, training, and qualifications to lead law enforcement agencies. Confidence in Palacios’ leadership authority has suffered amid allegations of sexual harassment and importation of contraband.