Guam Police Internal Affairs Reports ‘Decreasing’ In Detail

admin's picture

Online reports provide only ‘vague explanations’

By Brett Kelman

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 3, 2013) – The Guam Police Department has published the results of more internal affairs investigations online, but the latest release continues a pattern of decreasing detail.

The new report includes the findings of 13 internal affairs investigations from 2012. According to the report, eleven of the investigations ended in sustained allegations, and nine of those resulted in "disciplinary action."

However, the new report includes only a vague explanation of the allegations in each internal affairs case -- and no details about the investigations themselves.

This is how it will be from now on, police said.

"This will be the format we will continue to follow from this point forward," said police spokesman Officer A.J. Balajadia.

Local law requires the Guam Police Department to publish reports about the results of every internal investigation on its website, but this law has been mostly ignored in recent years. Hundreds of internal affairs investigations are launched each year, but the results of only 39 investigations have been published online since 2006.

Most of the internal affairs reports have been released under the direction of Police Chief Fred Bordallo. In 2011, Bordallo said he planned to revive this section of the website to restore transparency to the internal affairs section of the police department.

Of the 39 findings available online, thirty-four have been released under Bordallo. But each report includes less detail than the one before it.

Up until 2012, the few reports that were released included at least a half-page description of each investigation, complete with descriptions of the alleged wrongdoing.

For example, one of the more detailed reports from 2009 describes a case where an off-duty police officer attacked a Yigo resident because he believed the man had vandalized his car. The report fills a full page, and even goes as far to describe the model and color of the vehicles involved.

The reports have gotten progressively less detailed since then. In August, the police department released a batch of 10 reports, but these were only about half as long, and included a much briefer description.

Now the newest reports include no details. All 13 cases are combined into one chart, which fills less than a third of a page.

Here is an example from the new report: One internal investigation into "unbecoming conduct" was filed on Jan. 17. The allegation was not sustained, so the accused employee was given a letter of clearance. That is the entirety of the information released about that case.

Local law also requires the police department to include the finding of internal affairs investigations in its annual report. The police department releases an annual Unified Crime Report, but it doesn't summarize the findings of internal investigations.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment