The Guam Police Department’s appropriation for Fiscal 2016 based on substitute Bill 37-33 falls far short of what they need to maintain current operations.


Police Chief J.I. Cruz said the budget numbers are a grave concern.


“Not only did they not give us what we asked for based on the testimony I provided in July’s budget public hearing, they didn’t even fund us to the current year’s levels, leaving us with a $3.7 million shortfall,” the Police Chief stated.


Substitute Bill 37-33 was submitted by Vice Speaker BJ Cruz and lauded as good financial management by Sen. Mike San Nicolas.


Chief J.I. Cruz noted that the budget GPD submitted is realistic need that greatly considers the challenges we face in fulfilling public safety goals and objectives, and the fiduciary responsibility funding supported by the public budget.


“The Guam Police Department will be faced with significantly unpopular outcomes, mainly the inability to sustain overtime payments for department personnel,” Police Chief J.I. Cruz stated. “On the surface of it, when you look at the substitute bill, it seems like they gave us more money. But when you go through it line by line they took more than they provided for police.”


The Legislature’s substitute bill passed in August with a vote of 13-1 just days after it was introduced.


“I’m willing to try to make it work, and we’ll look for a way. But at this level it is going to be tough to do our job.”


GPD was hoping to hire 39 police officers this year. With the shortfall, they will not be able to hire as many officers AND be able to provide them with the equipment they need, while also paying the overtime.


Senators also cut $502,000 for information technology support. The vendor has told GPD that a complete loss of the system will occur in April 2016 if funding isn’t found to complete the project.


“A complete loss of our information technology support system will require GPD to regress to a system of document research and production,” Chief J.I. Cruz stated. “This regression will significantly impact the majority of Guam’s Criminal Justice System.”


Also, while Vice Speaker Cruz’s bill provides $437,838 for the repair of the Forensic Science Division, the amount falls $20,202 from the true cost needed. This information was sent to the Vice Speaker’s office in July in response to his request for information. Despite that, the substitute bill appropriates only enough to repair of the HVAC system and mold remediation, but does not allow enough funding for other necessities, including:

  • repair of sensitive laboratory equipment;
  • grounds maintenance;
  • roof repairs;
  • repair of sensitive laboratory equipment;
  • purchase of lab supplies; and
  • helium refills.


Sen. Frank Aguon Jr. is the legislative chairman of safety. He was one of 13 senators who voted to pass this budget bill. GPD wasn’t the only safety agency that had received cuts despite an already conservative budget and need expressed by the agencies.


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