A unified law enforcement rank structure will serve as a “career ladder” designed to improve officer retention by providing clear incentives and requirements to move up the ranks, Standards and Commission officials said Friday. training of peace officers.
A draft unified plan, which will apply to all law enforcement agencies in Guam, was unveiled by Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency chief Vince Perez, who chairs the commission.
The plan is still being reviewed and all local law enforcement will be brought to the table to provide input, according to Perez. It is divided into four levels: entry level, journeyman, supervisor and executive. From there, different stages of law enforcement officers are outlined with requirements for experience, training, and education.
For new hires, having a training and education advantage will be recognized, instead of everyone starting at the bottom.
“You just got out of high school, that’s your LEO 1. If you got in and got your certificate from Basic Law Enforcement Academy, that’s LEO 2, if you have 60+ credits, that’s a LEO 3,” he said.
“I’m not going to compete with other people. As soon as I graduate from my law enforcement training academy and become a police officer 1, I am in competition against myself. If I respect my class time, my duty time and I have good grades from my supervisor and I am on par with my learning, then I should be eligible for promotion,” he said.
The new requirements will not affect the ability of officers with more experience to progress, and extended experience and training will still be considered if officers seeking higher positions do not have formal degrees.
Not all law enforcement organizations will have access to the highest levels of leadership, Perez said. Law enforcement acting as a section of a larger agency, for example, might only escalate to the upper echelons of the supervisory level.
The rank standardization process began last year, with the goal of making it easier to transfer law enforcement between agencies. It is also the first step towards creating a unified pay scale for all law enforcement.
Starting salary differentials at different agencies often lead to lower-paid officers leaving for “greener pastures” with more pay and less responsibility, Sen. James Moylan said last year. This was a particular problem for the Guam Police Department — before a recent widespread pay increase, GPD officers earned $11.87 an hour, compared to $18.19 for Port Authority officers. Guam.
With the recent 18% raise for all law enforcement officers, a new compensation study may not be necessary to create a unified compensation plan, Perez said. Further input from the Department of Administration will be sought.