Saturday, November 14, 2009

Suba: Buildup requires community vigilance

Suba: Buildup requires community vigilance

Friday, 13 November 2009 04:34
by Jennifer Naylor Gesick | Variety News Staff

CRIME rate on Guam is expected to increase as a result of the military buildup, but with limited resources, the Guam Police Department will have to rely on greater citizen involvement with public safety, police chief Paul Suba said yesterday.

Public safety was among the issues discussed at the University of Guam-sponsored Guam Community and Economic Development Forum yesterday.

A panel discussion on the impact an increased military presence would have on public safety highlighted a need for more staff and funding.

Suba was a vocal panel member who said he expects an increase in overall crime statistics, and not just sexual assaults and domestic violence as emphasized in a question from forum moderator David Okada, a university professor.

“With an increase in population there will be an increase in those who will choose to do the wrong thing,” said the police chief.

Suba added that more car crashes, fatalities, bar fights, illegal drug activities and other crimes can be anticipated with such a rapid population increase. He hopes to recruit more department staff, but will partially count on shifting workloads to address manpower issues.

GPD will also be relying greater involvement with public safety by citizens, Suba said.

He also talked about tighter enforcement of regulations that would close down bars, clubs and massage parlors operating dangerously or illegally as another method of controlling menaces to civil order.

What the chief of police would like to see from the community is sharper focus on crime prevention. Suba told the forum audience if everyone would be more aware of their personal safety and that of their families it would keep many problems from coming to police in the first place.

“We all need to work together to prevent problems,” Suba asserted. Suggesting, for example, when out for the night to make sure not get so intoxicated so as not to be aware of the surroundings and thereby reducing the potential for becoming a victim of a criminal act.

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