Guam – The Guam Police Department wants to work closely with the Department of Education to prevent criminal mischief from occurring inside island’s public schools. This comes a week after GPD launched Operation Trailblazer, designed to stop truancy and criminal mischief from occurring at FB Leon Guerrero Middle School.
The Guam Police Department’s Juvenile Investigation Section is calling it operation trailblazer. This investigation is focusing on a group of students called the “Outgaters” who were truant and skipping classes in the jungle beyond the fence line behind FB Leon Guerrero Middle School. Operation Trailblazer was designed to stop truancy and criminal mischief occurring at the Middle School
JIS Police Officier lll Dennis Santos says through the course Operation Trailblazer, as Monday, the total count of Outgaters and burglary suspects of Machanaonao elementary arrested by juvenile investigations is eight to date. These 8 minors that have been taken into custody and have been charged. Some of them actually have been given notices to appear in court, however, the majority of them have been turned over to the Department of Youth Affairs.
Santos says after the recent public hearing at the Guam Legislature involving Bullying taking place within Guam’s public school, JIS has received a number of complaints about bullying and believes more people are coming forward . He also adds that most of the cases of bullying being reported are from the elementary and middle schools.
He says in addition to the “Outgater” investigation, JIS is also conducting a parallel investigation involving a number of bullying incidents at FB Leon Guerrero. Santos says although it doesn’t exist in Title 9, Guam Code Annotated, there’s no actual classification of bullying , but the way GPD investigates it, is what at the underline crimes that are committed. .
Santos says, “Because in bullying incidents you have harassment, assault, aggravated assaults, and terrorizing. So those are the underlining issues that are going on and these are the crimes that are being committed within the scope of bullying. I Want to ensure the public that bullying is still very enforceable with the Guam Police Department. We are not pushing it to the side and say its not a crime, because it is.”
Santos says he would like to get together with the Guam Public School System. He would like to go over law enforcement’s role to responding to issues versus the administration roles
He says everyone needs to all work together to prevent bullying, harassment, truancy and criminal mischief taking place inside the school. Santos says school aides are the front line of this defense because they are the eyes and ears of the school
According to Santos, Our school aides are in constant contact with students every day. They see and hear things. Students will tell them if another student is getting ready to be in a fight or who might have tobacco products. Once we start identifying these students that are in the school, then we can focus our attention on them. He says everyone needs to take a proactive role in stepping up & educating the kids.