Local law enforcement agencies working to establish procedures for independent investigations of use of deadly force and other matters of public interest

May 20, 2021- Tamuning, Guam- The Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the Guam Police Department (GPD), and other local law enforcement partners are working together to establish standard procedures when the use of deadly force resulting in death or serious physical injury as a result of a peace officer-involved incident occurs. Currently, there are no written procedures in place for an interagency independent investigation of instances where there is the use of deadly force or other matters of public interest.

“Systemic change is needed to build trust in, and understanding of, our role as law enforcement in the criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Leevin T. Camacho. “Our office and the Guam Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Ignacio, recognized the need to establish formal procedures for an independent investigation and review of incidents that involve either greater public interest or the use of force resulting in death or serious physical injury.”
The draft procedures call for (1) immediate notification where the use of deadly force results in the death or serious physical injury or where an independent investigation and review would be in the public interest; (2) the formation of an independent investigative team to handle the investigation; and (3) an independent review by the OAG’s Prosecution Division and potentially, a Superior Court of Guam Grand Jury.

“The public needs and deserves to be informed when a situation involving the use of deadly force occurs. We are glad to memorialize the process and promote transparency and police accountability,” said GPD Chief Stephen Ignacio.

Representatives from Guam Customs and Quarantine, Department of Agriculture, Department of Corrections, Department of Youth Affairs, Guam International Airport Authority, Port Authority of Guam, and the Superior Court of Guam have been invited to review the draft procedures and provide input.