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Last updateSat, 16 Dec 2017 12am

     

     

     

     

     

    Saturday, December 16, 2017-7:40:37A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Rota lawmakers want to meet with DPS chief, resident director

HOUSE Floor Leader Glenn Maratita on Monday said he and the other members of the Rota Legislative Delegation plan to meet with Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero and DPS Rota Resident Director Eusebio Manglona.

Manglona has accused Guerrero of, among other things, not supporting DPS Rota, which Guerrero denies.

During the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the DPS budget, Monday, Maratita asked Guerrero if he was aware of the meeting set for later this month at the Rota mayor’s office.

Guerrero said he had not received notice yet regarding the meeting.

Maratita said he would make sure Guerrero was informed of the meeting ahead of time and that he received a formal invitation and notice.

In an interview, Maratita said the Rota delegation has decided to resolve the dispute between the two DPS officials.

“As delegation members, we take this matter seriously and want to make sure this issue is resolved once and for all. The standards are high at Public Safety, but when you’re at the command level, the standards are far greater, so at this level of exchange, correspondence between the commissioner and the director is not something that we take lightly. The intent of having them meet is to settle this matter once and for all by working together and bringing our islands together because we don’t want our people to be divided — it’s not our intent, never.”

Maratita said they will discuss issues that the resident director brought up, including the commissioner’s refusal to deputize two Rota personnel.

“One of the major issues that the director brought up is the transfer of the two employees from the mayor’s office to the Department of Public Safety,” Maratita said.

“After graduating from the Police Academy, these two employees should be assigned to DPS and be allowed to serve the community as police officers. This was a specific request that the director made to the commissioner — to deputize these two employees, but to date, we haven’t received anything from the commissioner as to where we stand on the issue.”

Guerrero earlier said the employees are actually community workers with the Rota mayor’s office.

But Manglona said Guerrero can deputize the two employees.

According to Maratita, the issue has been addressed by the Rota delegation and funding is included in the fiscal year 2018 budget.

“Deputizing employees is nothing new to begin with,” he added. “So…it appears that there is more than a miscommunication problem here. It’s obvious that there’s a barrier and that’s why we came in to determine where the problem exists. It is our job to step in and find ways to resolve it.”

Maratita said they also invited the Rota mayor and the governor to the meeting.

“I look forward to that meeting — we need to get to the bottom of this and resolve the issue and move forward for the sake of the community,” Maratita added.

Gov. Ralph Torres on Friday said he will meet with Guerrero and Manglona this week.