Proclamation – Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, CNMI Police Week, National Safe Boating Week, & Click It or Ticket Mobilization in the CNMI

WHEREAS, the Congress and President of the United States have designated May 15 as National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, and the week in which it falls as Police Week; and

WHEREAS, the Law Enforcement agencies of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) work tirelessly to protect our citizens, enforce our laws, and keep our neighborhoods safe. They report for duty knowing full well the dangers they face and the sacrifices they may be called upon to make. On May 15th-21st, we pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who serve us with extraordinary bravery, and we remember the heroes who have laid down their lives in pursuit of a safer, more just society.

WHEREAS, it is important that all citizens know and understand the problems, duties, responsibilities, hazards, and sacrifices of their law enforcement agencies, and that members of our law enforcement agencies recognize their duty to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence or disorder, and by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression or intimidation; and

WHEREAS, the men and women of the law enforcement agencies of the CNMI have grown to be a modern and more scientific law enforcement agency which unceasingly provides a vital public service.

WHEREAS, for over 100 million Americans, boating continues to be a popular recreational activity. From coast to coast, and everywhere in between, people are taking to the water and enjoying time together boating, sailing, paddling and fishing. During National Safe Boating Week, the U.S. Coast Guard and its federal, state, and local safe boating partners encourage all boaters to explore and enjoy America’s beautiful waters responsibly.

WHEREAS, safe boating begins with preparation. The Coast Guard estimates that human error accounts for most boating accidents and that life jackets could prevent nearly 86 percent of boating fatalities. Through basic boating safety procedures – carrying lifesaving emergency distress and communications equipment, wearing life jackets, attending safe boating courses, participating in free boat safety checks, and staying sober when navigating – we can help ensure boaters on America’s coastal, inland, and offshore waters stay safe throughout the season.

WHEREAS, in Fiscal Year 2021, the Department of Public Safety’s Boating Safety Section responded to total of thirty-one (31) distressed vessels and three (3) capsized vessels; and

WHEREAS, in Fiscal Year 2021 the CNMI had a total of eight (8) drowning cases, all cases resulting in death; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error or poor judgment and not by the boat, equipment or environmental factors; and

WHEREAS, a significant number of boaters who lose their lives by drowning each year would be alive today had they worn their life jackets.

WHEREAS, the safety and security of the citizens of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and surrounding areas are vitally important; and

WHEREAS, a large percentage of our citizens regularly drive or ride in motor vehicles on our roadways; and

WHEREAS, in the United States, the 2017 data report states the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives of occupants 5 and older; and 325 child occupant 4 and younger were saved by the use of child restraints; AND in the CNMI from 2017-2021, out of 18 traffic fatalities, 6 or 33.33% were due to non-usage of seat belts.

WHEREAS, regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes;

WHEREAS, the CNMI’s seat belt use rate increased by 2.51 percentage points from 93.92% in 2019 to 96.43% in 2021; and,

WHEREAS, the use of seat belts is supported by the laws of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;

WHEREAS, May 23 through June 5, 2022, has been selected as the national Click It or Ticket mobilization enforcement period;

WHEREAS, across the country law enforcement officers will actively be participating in the mobilization to ensure all motor vehicle occupants are buckled up day and night to reduce the risk of injury and death caused in traffic crashes.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RALPH DLG. TORRES, Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2022 as

PEACE OFFICERS’ MEMORIAL DAY

May 15-21, 2022 as

CNMI POLICE WEEK

May 21-27, 2022 as

NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK

and May 23-June 5, 2022 as

CLICK IT OR TICKET MOBILIZATION IN THE CNMI

I call upon all patriotic, civic, and educational organizations to participate in appropriate ceremonies and observances in which all our people may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who, by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their communities; and in so doing, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security of all citizens. Let us all recognize and pay respect to the survivors of our fallen heroes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand on this 6th day of May 2022.

CNMI Office of the Governor

Office of the Governor Response to Dismissal of Lawsuit Filed Against the House Judiciary & Government Operations Committee

Yesterday, the Superior Court held that the Office of the Governor could not proceed with its case against the House Judiciary and Government Operations Committee. Although the Administration respects the decision of the Judge, we believe the decision is erroneous by ignoring and misinterpreting law and precedent. For example, in its rush to follow federal precedent, it skipped right over the plain text of the Commonwealth Constitution. Then it overlooked some of the most important protections found even in the federal cases — such as the rule that the legislature may subpoena the executive only when the information it needs is not reasonably available anywhere else. The decision will be appealed. It will be for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide the merits of this civil case.

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