Following Criticism, Guam Police Release Internal Affairs Reports

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Newspaper questioned why no 2014 reports were available

By Cameron Miculka

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 7, 2015) – The Guam Police Department yesterday posted information about 37 Internal Affairs cases to its website, following the publication of an article that indicated no reports had been released throughout 2014.

In an interview, Chief of Police Fred Bordallo said he is committed to improving coordination among his staff to ensure his department is following the law.

The Pacific Daily News yesterday published an article noting that the Guam Police Department hadn't posted any of its Internal Affairs cases on its website.

Guam law states, "within 30 working days of getting the complaint, the chief of police must prepare a public statement indicating the preliminary disposition of the allegation."

"The chief must prepare a summary of all allegations filed and their final disposition in the department's annual report," the law states.

However, no reports for cases in 2014 were made available until yesterday.

The report made available yesterday includes 37 closed cases, 22 of which have "sustained" findings.

The report doesn't include data for cases that are still being investigated. According to the report, there are at least 67 cases from last year still being investigated.

Bordallo said those cases will be included in another report.

He said one of his goals for this year is to improve the process for getting reports online.

One of the challenges, he said, is determining exactly how much information the department can release without compromising officers' rights.

That's been a continuing conversation with the Office of the Attorney General, Bordallo said.

"I know one of the things we did talk about is just how much detail (in) the Internal Affairs investigations can be made public," he said.

Reports released over the last several years have been inconsistent in what information has been released and what has been withheld.

Before 2012, the Guam Police Department posted information about individual cases, providing a brief synopsis of the allegations and the results of the investigations.

Reports released last year, covering 2011, 2012 and 2013, provided the category under which the allegation fell, the officer's assigned section and disposition.

The reports also identified the lead Internal Affairs investigator.

The 2014 data, released yesterday, withholds the name of the investigator and assigned unit, but gives the officer's rank.

Bordallo acknowledged that the officer's assignment is missing from the report, but he's directed his staff to include that and other information that can be released.

"There's limited information that is protected in terms of the employees -- similar to all other government of Guam agencies and the kind of things they have, too --dealing with their classified employees," Bordallo said.

The chief added that he plans to continue identifying what's public with newly sworn-in Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson.

Another difficulty, he said, is getting the Internal Affairs and Information Technology sections to coordinate and publish reports as they become available.

"Our challenge, I believe, is just the coordination between our IT section and the Internal Affairs, just to make sure we're adding that in," he said.

Bordallo added that he relies on his public information office to release reports when possible.

For example, he noted, a spokesman for the department announced an investigation into possible policy violations by a detective this past weekend.

"We want to really make sure we get these things out quicker and faster," he said. "We're doing our best."

Bordallo said it also is possible that Internal Affairs investigators will add reports to the website themselves rather than handling them through IT.

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