8 Jan 2004

Guam's incoming police chief says one of the biggest challenges will be combating drug use

5:30 pm on 8 January 2004

Guam is to get a new police chief in the midst of allegations against the former chief, for interfering in the course of justice.

Frank Ishizaki, who is currently head of the Department of Corrections, starts his new job next Monday.

He'll be given the task of re-invigorating a demoralised police force, some officers of which are under investigation for allegedly threatening witnesses in a fraud case against the former governor, Carl Gutierrez.

Mr Ishizaki takes over from Major Earl Aguigui, who has denied, among other things, retaliating at police officers by putting them on transfer.

Mr Ishizaki says one of Guam's most-pressing law-and- order problems is the high amount of drug use.

"Guam is a peaceful island but we do have a crystal methamphetamine problem. Ah, which I think causes other issues like sexually deviant crimes and violent crimes that are associated with 'ice'. Trying to find money for buying the product and also probably the psychological impact from stimulation from the drugs"