KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon/Marianas Variety, Jan. 30) - President Tommy E. Remengesau has authorized seven officers of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection to carry firearms.

Remengesau granted the request of the division chief and officers to use firearms in the performance of their duties as enforcers of environmental and conservation laws.

Those allowed to carry firearms are division chief Kammen Chin, Innocencio Kazuma, Jefferson Matul, Uchel Ngirngetrang, McWeldan August, Ngiraitaoch Ngiraked and Taffok Etpison.

They said they need firearms because they face dangers in enforcing environmental and conservation laws.

"It is good to know that the president supports us in our mandate to protect the environment and uphold conservation laws," Chin said.

"The confidence given to us by the president would greatly enable us to do our job better," he added.

"If then we had 50 percent efficiency, we can now increase it," he said.

Chin said the efficiency of DFWP will be greatly enhanced by the arming of its officers. The lack of firearms, Chin earlier said, had placed DFWP officers in danger whenever they were enforcing laws whose violators were armed with spear guns and other deadly weapons, sometimes even live firearms.

He said that due to the lack of firearms, DFWP officers sometimes failed to respond to incidents because they knew offenders carried live firearms.

January 31, 2003

For additional reports from the Marianas Variety, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/ Marianas Variety.

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