Guam police will train Palauan peers for conference

COOPERATION: Guam Police Chief Stephen Ignacio, pictured here at the Guam Legislature, recently met with leaders in Palau to discuss how officers on Guam can help train Palauan police for next year's "Our Oceans" conference. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

The Republic of Palau is preparing to host the seventh "Our Oceans" conference next year with the help of officers from the Guam Police Department and others to provide security and traffic control.

GPD Chief Stephen Ignacio recently met with leaders in Palau to discuss how officers on Guam can offer training to assist with the event.

The conference, which will be held in August 2020, expects a large gathering of nations, states, civil society/nongovernment organizations, youth organizations and members of the private sector.

According to an executive order signed by Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr., participants will unite in their commitment to finding solutions to protect and conserve the world's oceans and seas.

It's the first time Palau has been selected to serve as the host country. This year's conference will be held later this month in Norway.

Building on success of FestPac

"Because of the success of the planning from the police department's side with respect to (the Festival of Pacific Arts), they wanted to use that template to help them come up with a security plan along with their traffic plan to execute this conference next year," Ignacio said.

Ignacio said he and GPD Sgt. Felix Camacho went on a seven-day trip at the end of September to discuss plans for the conference. The police department funded their trip.

Ignacio said he was joined by representatives from the U.S. Secret Service, the Indo-Pacific Command, Department of Justice, FBI, Joint Region Marianas and the CNMI. He also met with U.S. Ambassador to Palau Amy Hyatt.

Palau officers will train on Guam

GPD plans to provide SWAT training, protective security detail training, executive security training and basic firearms training to personnel in Palau in preparation for the conference.

"Their plan is to send some of their officers to Guam to train them and then, if things change, we may even send out officers down there to provide the training," Ignacio said.

He said the Palau government would be funding any expenses associated with the training.

The conference in 2020 is expected to be the largest and most high-profile international event ever to be held in the Republic of Palau, according to the executive order.

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