DPS gains 44 new officers

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The Department of Public Safety gained 44 new officers following the graduation festivities of the 26th Police Academy Cycle yesterday.

According to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero, the CNMI welcomed 44 new officers following the graduation of DPS’ largest Academy yesterday at the Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall.

The graduates include: Mitch Atalig, Onria Atalig, Dylan Barcinas, Edwin Basto, Earl Borja, Noah Camacho, Keona Castro, Jason DelaCruz, Peter Deleon Guerrero, Jamanuel Gilnifrad, Keanu Hosono, Vince Igitol, Jonathan Inacio, Rodigan Jepen, Kekoa Kani, Francis Leightley, Joey Lizama, Peyton Lizama, Daniel Mafnas, Jasper Manacop, Zsazsa Manahane, Asiana Manglona, Clayton Manglona, Ronierick Masga, Jarrett Matsutaro, Brian Mendiola, France Muna, Kroy Ogo, Rachel Ogumoro, Tenta Ordonez, Timmy Pangelinan, Vincent Rangamar, Brandon Regis, James Reyes, Rolly Roppul, Kristen Salas, Pualani Taisacan, Kaegel Taitano, Paz Michiko Tenorio, Jessielyn Teregeyo, Elijah Terlaje, Keremes Terry, Garrie Ann Toves, and Elijah Villar.

“This the largest graduating class. On average, we try to maintain 25-30 cadets for each academy. This class alone, we started with 47 but we lost three along the way. These were the ones who dropped out of the academy earlier on,” he said.

He said the new addition to the department is much needed amid the ongoing pandemic and the return of tourists.

“This is a plus for the department because this means more officers out in the field, especially now with the pandemic and the opening up of tourism, we’re going to need more officers out on the streets and strategic sites,” he said.

Guerrero said although there has been concerns as to why the academy was cut short—three months shorter than the previous six-month academy cycles—he is sure that these cadets have gained the right skills to carry out their new duties.

“There’s no reason to have them out there for six months. These officers have undergone three months of intensive training…and within those three months, they learned a lot of stuff, including acquiring 39 credit hours toward their Criminal Justice associate degree. I know we’ve been criticized that we went from six months to three months but my position there is, if the military can do it in three months, why can’t our officers? They’re very knowledgeable and smart so that issue is out of the window as far as whether they are capable of doing it or not,” he said.

The DPS chief said his hope for these new officers is to continue to uphold the policies and laws they swore to protect and enforce.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho, he said in his years of administering the oath of office, this year’s academy was by far the largest cycle that he has sworn in and one of the most diverse.

“This is the third time I’ve administered the oath to the academy. This was definitely the largest class. They seem very enthusiastic about their new profession. When I was a police officer many years ago, I graduated in the 8th Police Academy Cycle and we were only 20. Two were from Rota and Tinian and the rest were from Saipan. We also didn’t have any women at that time. Now you have a diverse group that includes women and men and women from different ethnic backgrounds too and that’s great,” he said.

Camacho said he was honored to administer the oath this year and wishes the new officers the best in their new profession.

“It was an honor and privilege to administer the oath for the 26th DPS Academy. It was a wonderful and touching to see the many families come out to pin the badges on their cadets and I wish all of them success in their future profession,” Camacho said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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