As part of the continued success of its Visitor Safety Officer (VSO) program, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) has increased beach safety efforts along Tumon Bay.“In an effort to improve upon the efficiency and safety efforts for all local residents and visitors that are in Tumon Bay, we continue working diligently with G4S and Guam Police Department on the second year of GVB’s Visitor Safety Officer program,” said GVB General Manager Nathan Denight. “We thank Governor Eddie Calvo, Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio, Senator Tina Muna Barnes, GPD and Department of Parks and Recreation for their support of this program. Countless lives have been saved and the visible presence of the VSOs as a concierge and crime deterrent is reassuring.”
The VSOs have been augmented to patrol Tumon Bay from Ypao beach to Matapang beach during the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on a daily basis. They are patrolling these areas at night to help curb crime, public intoxication, illegal dumping, squatting, graffiti and vandalism at public parks and beaches, which has been a major problem. Additional beach safety security can also be found along the northern side of Tumon Bay from the Dusit Thani Guam Resort to Guam Reef & Olive Spa Resort, including the new lifeguard watchtower on the northern side of Tumon Bay. Those areas have been identified to be highly utilized and are in need of additional presence. Lifeguard stations already exist at Ypao beach and Matapang beach to cover the south and central parts of Tumon Bay.
The VSO program is funded entirely from the Tourist Attraction Fund at a total cost of just over $400,000, which includes the cost of personnel, equipment, vehicles and maintenance used to help save lives and support safety measures.
During Fiscal Year 2015, VSOs responded to over 800 safety and security related issues that include homelessness, public intoxication, water related incidents, stray animals and other cases. In addition, they have provided over 12,500 concierge services that include traffic assistance, giving directions, taking photos, recovering lost property and escorting island residents and visitors.
“Safety continues to be paramount, especially as we prepare for an influx of visitors and returning island residents associated with the upcoming PATA Annual Summit and Festival of Pacific Arts right before the start of summer,” said Denight.