Guam’s Visitor Security Officers Complete Law Enforcement Training

Five Visitor Security Officers (VSOs) and two Department of Military Affairs Security Officers (DMASOs) received completion certificates on Friday after 40 hours of Defensive Tactics Training from Park Police Superintendent and Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor Joey Terlaje. A small awards ceremony was held at 10:00 a.m. at the Park Police Training Room in the Paseo de Susana Stadium with a short skills demonstration afterward.

The officers who received the training were VSO Joanna Richards, VSO Donny Atoigue, VSO Jonathan Cruz, VSO Zachary Gay, VSO Chanse Aguon, DMASO Xavier Naputi, and DMASO Onria Atalig. Presenting the certificates was Colonel Joey Terlaje alongside DPR Director Angel Sablan, G4S Country General Manager Theresa Sakazaki, G4S Integrated Security Strategic (ISS) Director Ronnie Delfin, G4S VSO Operations Director Paul Suba, and GVB Director of Destination Management Dee Hernandez.

The Visitors Security Officer corps was initially hatched out of GovGuam’s “Crimes Against Tourists in Tumon” (CATT) program in 2014. The corps has developed rapidly from “Hafa Adai Spirit Ambassadors” to fully trained security officers, now with CPR/AED and Defensive Tactical Training that includes control concepts, handcuffing, counterstriking, restraint systems, weapons, and equipment training.

The DTT training of the VSOs was implemented at the request of GVB President & CEO Carl T.C. Gutierrez during the first Tumon Security Task Force Meeting last month on January 19. The Task Force meeting was called by GVB to gather officials from the Guam Police Department, Guam Fire Department, DPW, DPR, G4S, Tamuning Mayor’s Office, the Attorney General’s office, and Senators of the Guam Legislature Tourism Oversight Committee to discuss strategies on safety and security, destination, and service culture improvements for Guam. Since the meeting, the Task Force has been actively working together to achieve its primary goals of crime prevention and the safety of the island’s visitors and residents.

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“These are trying times right now and every agency needs to come together to keep our promise of making Guam a safe place to live and visit. This tactical training of our VSOs and the DMA security officers is only one of the many measures we are taking to improve safety and security on the island,” Gutierrez stated.

The Defensive Tactics Training Program will continue for all VSOs and other pertinent security personnel.

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Linda Hohnholz