FSM CONSUL IN GUAM CONCERNED OVER DRUNKENNESS ARRESTS

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Chuukese top police statistics for DUI, public intoxication

By Zita Taitano HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Jan. 5, 2012) – The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Consul General’s Office will be working closer with the Chuukese community in light of the recent Operation Dragon list published by the Guam Police Department that ranked Chuukese at the top of public intoxication and DUI arrests.

About 62 Chuukese citizens were arrested and charged with DUI, public intoxication and underage drinking.

Senior Foreign Service officer Robson Romolow said they are very concerned with the ranking.

"It’s unfortunate we have that high a number of citizens who are not complying with the laws over the holidays," he said, adding that FSM community leaders and officers have tried their best to address the situation.

"We have personally met with citizens and we have always emphasized having a safe holiday. They know the requirements. I have emphasized that if you’re drink, don’t drive and have a designated driver," he said.

Romolow doesn’t believe they are being targeted because of their ethnicity.

"When the law enforcement agencies are out there during the holidays, they are just protecting the public and when they suspect a driver is under the influence, they pull them over not knowing whether the person is Chuukese. It’s just unfortunate that most of them are Chuukese," he said.

[PIR editor’s note: In a Pacific Daily News report the Police Chief says he plans to continue with Operation Dragon to "target alcohol-related activities, such as public intoxication, drinking in areas such as bus shelters, store parking lots, and other areas that are not legal areas to consume alcohol".]

The FSM Consulate is continuing to work with the agencies to disseminate good citizenship information to the community and it will continue conducting pocket meetings and seminars with citizens.

"For example if there is an apartment complex where a majority of citizens live, we will go there," he said.

"I just want to reiterate President Manny Mori’s statement that all of us are here on Guam as guests," he added.

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