Robert Guerrero, who has been the acting commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for the past few weeks, was confirmed to the position yesterday.
The CNMI Senate’s Executive Appointments and Government Investigation Committee also confirmed three other department heads: James Ada as Department of Public Works secretary, Anthony Benavente as Department of Land and Natural Resource secretary, and Vicky Benavente as Department of Labor secretary.
All four were already Cabinet members in the previous administration but submitted courtesy resignations last December, as per protocol, upon the swearing in of the new administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who was elected governor last November.
When asked for comments about his confirmation, Guerrero said all he felt at that moment was relief that the long process of judging whether he would be reappointed or not is now over.
In a previous interview, Guerrero said the toughest part of the reappointment process is the judging of everything he has ever done as a commissioner. He added that it’s never fun to be judged.
“You have a set of report cards that they can pick on, like why did I do this and why did I do that, unlike a new appointee where they’ll make promises…with everything I want to do but there’s nothing to judge off,” he had said.
During the many confirmation hearings leading up to his reappointment, Guerrero was asked about some of the more controversial DPS issues in the CNMI, including what is being done about reckless tourist drivers, the number of cold cases that still remain unanswered, and more.
Guerrero received support from nearly his entire department and other branches under the CNMI government and obtained widespread support from members of the Saipan and Tinian communities.
Guerrero himself was amazed at the amount of support he got from members of DPS, members of the Legislature, members or the Executive Branch, and the public who came to witness the hearings.
Guerrero is the former Department of Corrections commissioner, former director of Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, and has had years of law enforcement and military experience.