Given local headlines spotlighting high profile criminal actions on Guam, even some by persons already pending trial for other offenses, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero has renewed her pledge to make public safety a major focus of her administration.
In what Adelup billed as her first monthly address, Leon Guerrero emphasized that government can't solve all of the crime related problems by itself, but can provide strong leadership.
"We are working to keep our island safe and public safety is one of the reasons why I chose to run for Governor. Now that I’ve taken office it continues to be a priority for the Lieutenant Governor and me."
Leon Guerrero said that law endorcement agency budgets have been getting a close look and review to pinpoint inefficiencies and potential savings; unused federal programs may be a source for needed funding in this area.
She said that more local police are already on patrol and nearly 30 more will be hired by June.
While adding more cops is important, Leon Guerrero said that the community must pitch in as well.
"I applaud and encourage the community watch groups and non-profit organizations that sacrifice and dedicate their time to care for the most vulnerable on our island," the governor said. "[These are] everyday heroes who selflessly give themselves to this vital cause, like Victim Advocates Reaching Out, Healing Hearts, Erica’s House, Child Protective Services, GPD’s Domestic Assault Response Team and their recently launched Stranger Danger Program."
The governor promised that the administration's 2020 budget will support the hiring of more social workers and promised to work with the courts to improve the judicial system.
"Safety is a priority for our administration. While we are taking these steps to make our community a safer place for everyone, I want to thank each of you for doing your part to help us with this islandwide effort--for saying something when you see something, for calling 911, or Crimestoppers - even if it is to report on a family member. We all need to do our part to make Guam a better place and I want to thank those of you who are helping us to do so - whether you work in the government, the private sector, or as an observant member of a neighborhood watch group. As they say, it takes a village to keep us safe. On Guam, it takes 19 villages."