The CNMI House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation that would recognize the Commonwealth Casino Commission and the Alcohol, Beverage, and Tobacco Control Division as law enforcement agencies.
The House passed with a vote of 16-0 Rep. Joseph “Lee Pan” Guerrero’s (R-Saipan) House Bill 21-61, which aims to recognize both CCC and the ABTC agents as law enforcers.
Only law enforcement members are allowed to carry firearms while engaged in their line of official duties, among other benefits.
“Similar to our other respective law enforcement agencies, especially in situations of high life-risking duress, these officers are usually the first line of defense in not only protecting themselves but the surrounding individuals that are present during such situations,” the legislation notes.
There are currently 32 agencies whose agents are recognized as law enforcement, including enforcement officers of the Commonwealth Ports Authority, correctional officers of the Department of Corrections, probation officers of the Office of Adult Probation, the sergeant-at-arms of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, police officers of the Department of Public Safety, conservation officers of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the investigators of the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, among several others.