Tauese Vaaomala Sunia is new Territorial Corrections Facility Warden

Commissioner of Public Safety, Le'i Sonny Thompson has transferred Chief of Police, Tauese Vaaomala Sunia to the Territorial Correctional Facility to serve as warden, according to a memo dated Sept. 29, addressed to All DPS Personnel.

The memo, from Le’i, notes Senior Personnel Reassignments, as part of the Department of Public Safety’s “strides over the last nine months to improve our process and services to the community through investment in professional development training in areas of our respective discipline.”

The commissioner highlights the programs and activities DPS has done over “our collective journey since the inception of my tenure as Commissioner of Public Safety.”

Le’i says that part of DPS’ ability to “To Serve & To Protect” includes “a blanket of safety for our communities and general public.”

He continued, “In light of existing and continuing challenges faced by the Territorial Corrections Facility, it is incumbent on our management team to place priority on the security of the facility to prevent future escapees, promulgate policies and procedures to mitigate existing challenges, forge needed partnership with public agencies and non profit organizations in the provisioning of specialized counseling and services to high-risk youth, victims of domestic violence and sexual harassment.”

The Police Commission said, “To that end, effective Monday, October 2, 2017, Foifua Foifua, Jr. is hereby reassigned to Central Station and superseded by Va’aomaia K. Sunia who will serve as Warden…

“It is incumbent that both senior officers will prepare transition prior to the effective date of their reassignment to ensure no lapse in service or critical issues is compromised,” he stated.

The new TCF warden was appointed as Chief of Police under an executive order by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga; he continued in this position when Le’i became commissioner.

Tauese, who has been with DPS for more than 15 years, has been a lead instructor for DPS police academies.

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