George Camacho is CJPA’s new chief


George N. Camacho will be taking over as the new head of the Criminal Justice Planning Agency effective tomorrow, Tuesday. The former lawmaker was a legislative assistant at the CNMI Legislature’s Legislative Bureau before being elected a member of the House of Representatives for seven years.

“The CJPA has been without a director for a couple of months. I will be the next director after receiving my formal appointment last Friday. [Monday] is a holiday, so I’ll formally start Tuesday,” Camacho told Saipan Tribune in a telephone interview.

He said there wouldn’t be any adjustment period since he knows most of the staff at CJPA, after being a member of the Youth Advisory Council/State Advisory Group representing the CNMI Legislature.

“We’re just going to look at everything first at [CJPA] like their budget so we could run the agency with efficiency. I know most of the staff, so it would not be something new for me,” added Camacho, who finished his associate degree at the Northern Marianas College before completing his bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Washington State University.

“My job will be almost similar like when I was a member of the House, where we make laws and draft new policies. We’re just going to make sure we implement the policies of CJPA to serve the people of the CNMI to the fullest extent possible.”

He said that one of his main priorities once he finally settles into his new position is to review CJPA’s grants programs. “We must treat everything with an open mind and analyze before making any changes. We need to make sure that we don’t loose any of the grants for the CNMI.”

He also thanked Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for appointing him to lead CJPA, which secures federal funds in providing programs like for criminal justice needs and other social services.

“I thank the governor for the trust that he had given me and I promise to do my best to serve the people of the CNMI. CJPA just acts as the clearinghouse for federal grants and we’re going to make sure all funds will be distributed to all our programs to different agencies and departments,” said Camacho.

Camacho, who is also an official of the Natibu Sports Association, said he would also continue to volunteer as a coach/manager in the Saipan Little League program. “We can never forget the kids and it is almost Little League season again.”

He was unsuccessful in seeking a fourth term in the two seats at Precinct 4, finishing third in a five-way race. He garnered 529 votes against the 753 of Rep. Vinnie Sablan and neophyte lawmaker Alice Igitol’s 610.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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