Hagåtña, Guam – For the first time in over a decade, the Department of Agriculture effectuated promotions for its Law Enforcement Section. On Monday, a pinning and promotion ceremony was held at the agency’s Organic Demonstration Farm in Mangilao for four conservation officers. Officers receiving promotions included Conservation Lieutenant Richard M. Ragadio, Conservation Officer II Chuck C. Flores, Conservation Officer II Nathan G. Rios, and Conservation Officer II GageMichael F. Santos.
“This is a milestone event for our officers, who for too long have not received meaningful support and recognition for the work they do to protect our people and our natural resources,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Our efforts must start right here, right now. The work of our conservation officers ensures future generations can enjoy our land and water resources.”
“As conservation officers, you do a lot to ensure that our people are safe and our natural resources are protected. Our hiking trails, our beaches, our precious wildlife—these will not last forever if we don’t protect them. We need our conservation officers to ensure that our children and grandchildren are given the opportunity to enjoy what Guam has to offer,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio. “This promotion ceremony is long overdue, but we remain firm in our commitment to supporting our conservation officers and the work they do for our island.”
“You, our island’s conservation officers, do what no one else does. You protect that which is more precious than gold. On a daily basis, you lay your life on the line to save the land and waters that bind us all,” said Department of Agriculture Director Chelsa Muna-Brecht. “Governor Leon Guerrero and Lt. Governor Tenorio, from day one, made it our mandate to promote those who have been waiting years for what they have earned. I am excited that we are able to meet that mandate.”
In the past two years, the Department of Agriculture has received numerous grants and awards to upgrade its communications systems, establish the first Civilian Volunteer Conservation Officers Program, and facilitate better enforcement capabilities in the marine preserve. The Department of Agriculture continues to work with partners, such as Andersen Airforce Base, the Criminal Justice Automated Commission, and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement, to protect Guam’s natural resources.