Bermudes will be named DPS chief; Rayphand is new OVR chief


Lt. Gov. David M. Apatang disclosed Friday that retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Clement Bermudes will be appointed commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Apatang said in an interview that they have yet to issue an appointment letter, but that it’s going to be Bermudes who will be the DPS chief.

Bermudes is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Saipan Tribune learned that Bermudes was recently promoted dean of the Northern Marianas College Academic Program and Services. He used to be the chair of NMC’s Criminal Justice Department.

Apatang, who is currently the acting governor, said they are just waiting for Bermudes to come back and talk to him as he is on an off-island vacation.

Apatang said Bermudes is very qualified and has leadership.

“We need some changes in DPS,” Apatang said.

In his inaugural speech last Jan. 9, Gov. Arnold I. Palacios stated that DPS needs a major overhaul and that they will be appointing a DPS commissioner who has the extensive enforcement experience who will emphasize the training of officers, upgrading of investigative facilities, and re-establishing the cooperation the CNMI once had with federal agencies.

David M. Apatang

In related news, James M. Rayphand, who is a former executive director of the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems, Inc., has been appointed as director of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

In a short biography released by the Office of the Governor yesterday, it said that Rayphand has more than 21 years of experience assisting people with disabilities and education. He was the deputy director, program manager, and executive director of NMPASI and served as the vice principal and acting principal at San Vicente Elementary School. He is currently the owner of JMRAY, LLC., and graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from the University of Guam with a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Administration & Supervision. Rayphand also has his Elementary School Teacher Certification in PRAXIS I and II.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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