Questions surface over promotion of two DPS officers
Thirty-two police officers and eight fire fighters with the Department of Public Safety received promotions last week, and they were announced in the Commissioner’s General Memorandum dated June 28, 2012. However questions have surfaced over two of these promotions.
According to the memo, in order to improve the police department’s daily operations, certain personnel have been officially promoted to fill vacated positions.
Commissioner Tuaolo Manaia Fruean congratulated the police officers and fire fighters, saying he hopes that they will continue to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, to ensure the success of the police department.
Commissioner Tuaolo in the memo said he urges all DPS personnel to give their full attention and cooperation to assist these officers with their new positions and responsibilities.
The following officers who were promoted are:
Police Chief Vaimaga Maiava, Commanders, Lavata’i Taase Sagapolutele, Warden Lumana’i Maifea and Alapati Fano;
Police Captains, Ta’aloloioufaiva John Cendrowski, Lima Togia, Pou Supapo and Pierre Clemens. Fire Captains, Aloalo Olo and Clint Ilaoa. Police Lieutenants Fautua Maiava, Tolia Solaita, Faimasasa Malaefono, Siaosi Aiono, Falelua Salafuauli, Iati Tuiolemotu, Tautalaso’o Moliga and Arieta Salanoa;
Fire Lieutenants, Fa’afetai Filipi, Preschool Talaeai, Fusitele Fano and Sefo Palepua;
Police Sergeants, Able Penetusi, Misi Leo, Steve Tuato’o, Foma’i Paepule, Sili Sea, Vaina Vaofanua, Utumoe Alefosio and Talamakusi Taumua. Fire Sergeants Mike Tipoti and Allen Velega;
Police officers III Polofa’asoa Pese, Poe Leapai, Ioane Galu, Hesedh Sopoaga and Sapu Maiava. Police officers II are Siaosi Siuloa, Mareko Fale and Daryl Parker.
Several police officers, who wished not to be named contacted Samoa News saying it came as a surprise to them that Lt Aiono and Sgt Penetusi were promoted, given they have been convicted as criminals.
One officer said despite the fact that their convictions are misdemeanors, they have a bad record already and should have not have been considered as candidates for promotion.
One Captain said some officers had earned their promotion, but other officers should have not been promoted.
Calls to Deputy Commissioner Leiseau Laumoli for comment were not answered as of press time.
Lt Siaosi Aiono with CID served four weekends in jail in 2009 for a public peace disturbance count. Lt Aiono was initially charged with third degree assault and public peace disturbance for roughing up a bus driver that he ticketed on July 23, 2009.
In a plea deal with the government, Aiono pled guilty to the public peace disturbance charge while the assault count was dropped.
According to the government's case, when Aiono was issuing a traffic citation to a bus driver, he pushed the driver, resulting in the victim hitting his head on the bus. The victim’s hands were cuffed when the altercation occurred.
Sgt Penetusi was convicted of third degree assault in a case involving a firearm in 2007 and he was placed on probation — his probation was successfully completed.