Newly nominated Department of Public Safety commissioner Sgt. James C. Deleon Guerrero yesterday said he wants to strengthen the relationship between DPS and federal and other CNMI law enforcement agencies in addressing problems on rising criminality.
“I want our relationship that is sincere and credible,” Deleon Guerrero told Saipan Tribune.
He said DPS has existing agreements with other law enforcement agencies—federal and CNMI state agencies.
“We need to meet more often. We need to discuss common problems and see what we can do to fight common grounds to leverage one another’s resources and authority,” the acting commissioner said.
Asked what are his priorities, Deleon Guerrero quickly replied that it is restoring public trust and confidence back to the organization.
“What I mean by that is that the department has been a subject of controversies in the past few months. I would like to see what we could do internally, to reorganize, to reform the institution so to speak,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero noted that there are a lot of crimes that have been reported—unsolved homicides, burglary cases, thefts, and robberies.
The acting commissioner also underscored the need to put greater emphasis on domestic violence enforcement along with sexual assault cases that are on the rise.
“In order for me to arrive at potential approach to these things, a thorough assessment has to be performed,” he said, adding that he intends to work closely with DPS’ partners—federal and CNMI agencies—that may be able to assist the department.
Deleon Guerrero also cited the importance of strengthening the relationship between DPS and direct service providers that provide assistance to victims of crimes.
“I believe in a building block approach where if we start to fix something and it’s already fixed, just because there is a crisis somewhere should not make us have to break that thing down and commit resources to where the crisis is at. Because its gonna bring us back to the original problem,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero vowed to make certain changes in the department “to the effect that it actually promotes better relationship between the community and the police.”