Acting Department of Public Safety commissioner Ambrosio T. Ogumoro assured yesterday that all officers and fire fighters are dealt with according to their respective departments' rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.
Responding to KSPN2 reporter Tina Sablan's questions regarding allegations of certain incidents within the department, Ogumoro said that Sgt. Vicente Tagabuel is being used to his full capacity as a sergeant.
He said that Tagabuel is currently assigned as the supervisor, officer-in-charge of the Evidence Custodial Section. As for Tagabuel's upcoming jury trials, Ogumoro said, “People make mistakes and are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”
Police officers Jesse Cepeda, Rhonda John, and Elias Saralu, meanwhile, were thoroughly investigated by the department's Internal Affairs unit, Ogumoro said.
“All cases investigated by Internal Affairs are dealt with fairly and treated with the outmost attention. The results of the investigation are confidential and any evidence found cannot be used against the employee criminally. Although we are public servants, any individual under the constitution has their right to privacy,” he said.
In cases where allegations are found to be substantiated by the Internal Affairs unit, recommendations are made to the commissioner's office on what the disciplinary action or outcome should be, Ogumoro said.
He said once those conditions are met, if the employee is still employed by the department, they return back to regular duty upon clearance from Internal Affairs and approval of the commissioner.
In other cases were the evidence is unsubstantiated, upon completion of the investigation, the results are forwarded to the commissioner's Office, Ogumoro said. Once the officer is cleared, he or she is re-instated and returns to regular duty.
After the cases are adjudicated, Ogumoro said he has several options within his authority.
In some cases, he said, officers are terminated, suspended, or undergo additional training or counseling, as recommended by Internal Affairs. (DPS)