The Department of Public Lands turned over to the Department of Public Safety yesterday an abandoned building in Susupe that will be renovated into a new police substation.
The building is located next to a basketball court near the Mobil Gas Station in Susupe and used to house a Head Start center and community hall.
DPS will renovate the building for its Community Oriented Policing Section Center for Chalan Kanoa and Susupe.
In his remarks, DPL Secretary Pete Tenorio said the building has been abandoned for many years so conveying it to DPS will benefit the public.
Gov. Eloy S. Inos commended DPS Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero and DPS staff for coming up with a “worthwhile project” that partners the department, the community, and the private sector.
In the long run, he said, the project will make police officers’ jobs easier as they will be going down to the community level.
Deleon Guerrero said that bike patrol officers and investigators will be assigned at the COPS Center, which will operate round the clock. The idea, he said, is to shorten the time cases remain pending in the department.
Internet and WiFi will also be installed so that children can come in, he said.
Deleon Guerrero said the government will not spend for the renovation work as many private companies have responded to their solicitation letters by donating funds.
He cited Bridge Capital, which donated $5,000 to the bike patrol program, and cash donations of Bank of Saipan and other companies.
He said DPS has seen a steep drop in the number of criminal activities in Susupe and Chalan Kanoa since they assigned bike patrol officers in these areas.
Deleon Guerrero said the CNMI Office of Homeland Security has also donated two more Gator utility vehicles on top of one Gator that it previously handed to DPS.
He said Rep. Christopher Leon Guerrero helped DPS prepare the ceremony while Reps. John Paul Sablan and Ralph Demapan assisted DPS with the renovation of the basketball court in front of the COPS Center.
Marvin K. Seman, CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management special assistant, said the two Gators, each worth $16,000, are heavy duty, can operate in rugged terrain, and are fully enclosed so officers are protected even during bad weather.