Ombre Ga’chong: Adelup needs to institute uniform standards and address pay equity so Guam can retain and grow its police force

Lee Webber

By Lee Webber

[A couple weeks ago] was Police Week and the Guam Police Department did a good job of bringing the operations of the Guam Police Department (GPD) into the public eye.

Then [on May 18] there was the announcement that the largest group of police cadet recruits (26 to be exact) in many years had been sworn into the to the current multi-lingual recruit cycle training.

While this effort is indeed commendable you have to ask the question as to how many will actually graduate and then how many currently active officers will be leaving the department in the coming year for retirement, work in other local law enforcement organizations or seeking positions in federal law enforce?

While numerous problems remain within the department’s manning, one of the key issues driving GPD officers to other local and federal law enforcement jobs is pay inequity.

Having asked about this problem on numerous occasions I have gotten a number of different excuses as to why this movement occurs with various government of Guam law enforcement agencies.

It seems the key reason for movement with the various government of Guam law enforcement agencies is the disparity in pay and in some cases qualifications requirements within the various agencies.

It actually appears that GPD has the lowest starting wages of any of the Guam law enforcement agencies which drives qualified GPD officers to seek employment with other agencies. This has been happening for quite some time.

The real question is why can’t a centralized law enforcement pay scale be established across all GovGuam agencies allowing for the same qualifications, education, training, experience and time in grade within the government of Guam?

If the governor can make other uniformity declarations for the good of the people of Guam it only seems logical that with some administrative creativity and magic – as we have seen in years past – this could be accomplished thereby stopping the wholesale trading of officers out of GPD and into competing agencies.

Additionally, an effort of this nature would also bring all law enforcement positions into a level-playing field for the betterment of the entire community.

It is really time for someone in Adelup to take the bull by the horns and level the law enforcement playing field for all law enforcement officer (LEO) positions across GovGuam.

On the federal side, we will always lose officers to federal positions driven by pay equity differences since payroll and benefits in the federal positions will very likely always be higher following initial training.

That said, there is really no reason why pay parity cannot be accomplished across the various departments within the government of Guam.

Come on Adelup, let’s get a grip on this perennial problem for the benefit of our local LEOs and the Guam community as a whole.

Our citizens should know that when they are speaking and dealing with any local law enforcement officer they are dealing with officers who have had – at the very least – equal training. And, based on their rank and time in grade, extremely similar standards and levels of experience.

Back the Blue – Let’s make Guam Great Again!



Lee P. Webber is a businessman and civic advocate, the former publisher of the Pacific Daily News, a former president and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser, and a former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia


  • Mr. Webber, what about those people that are under the sun to clean and beautify the island and janitors that cleans after us, don’t they deserve to be compensated better, too?

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