‘The money is there but nothing has progressed’

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero remains frustrated about the lack of improvements to the DPS evidence room since Super Typhoon Soudelor in 2015.

He pointed out that the CNMI Office of the Public Auditor will be coming around on June for its routine inspection.

“It’s a thorn on my side. I’m going on my fourth year as DPS commissioner. This was the first problem I encountered when I first walked into this office and today, I’m still facing the same problem. …We haven’t moved even a nail so you can see my frustration.”

He said that disaster funds have been allocated for the reconstruction of the evidence room but nothing has been done.

“It’s disaster money that has been there and that’s what is irritating me. The money is there but nothing has progressed,” he said.

Yet he is the one who is criticized. He pointed out that the matter is out of his hands.

“It’s out of DPS’ hands. We’re not the ones contracting the contractor. We’re just the recipients. That’s what’s so frustrating. I’m not the one coordinating the construction of it yet I’m the one that’s being dinged for it because nothing is being done,” he said.

Currently, the DPS fitness room has been serving as the temporary DPS evidence room.

“We need that [evidence room]. Right now, the facility that’s being occupied as an evidence room [is] actually the physical fitness facility for our officers and their families,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista | 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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