WENO, Chuuk - Newly inaugurated Chuuk Governor Wesley Simina wasted little time in upturning the Chuuk Department of Public Safety, which has suffered for years from a deteriorating public image and trust.Management issues also appeared to play a part in the changes taking place. Appointing William Stinnet as Director of Public Safety in the middle of April, the Administration dismissed 300 police trainees who were hired during Governor Ansito Walter's administration.
Many of the trainees were simply recruited from the streets, some of which did not even reach nor graduate from high school. Others had been installed as part of their community service mandates during the early part of this year. It was reported that many of the trainees, many of whom can be seen on the streets of Weno and in front of the DPS during the day, have worked for more than a year, and, like those who started this year, have never been paid a single penny.
According to Police Lieutenant Billy Aisek, who has worked for the department for nearly 30 years, "The administrator of WIA (the Workforce Investment Agency) and the former director of Public Safety worked out a deal to hire those trainees."
But according to a staff person at WIA, "The Department of Public Safety just hired all these trainees without any prior documentation," noting that the proper proposal process was never formally followed. Earlier this year - in April - the Chuuk State Supreme Court issued a ruling in which it ordered the Chuuk Government to compensate more than 70 trainees at the Department of Agriculture. Many of these ambitious trainees - like those with the DPS - have been employed for over a year without compensation. As with the DPS trainees, they appeared to have been hired indiscriminately