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DPS Tafuna substation closed down after rats take over building


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) has been condemned after a rat infestation was discovered.

This was confirmed by several police officers working at the TPS.

Department of Health inspectors visited the TPS building last Friday and discovered during their inspection that the building is not safe due to health issues, especially the numbers of rats that were seen inside the building.

DoH has given officers at the TPS 10 days to move out.

Samoa News visited the TPS location yesterday and observed that the building was mostly empty.

One police officer, who was at the office at the time, told Samoa News that they’re looking for a new location because the building is no longer safe for them.

A police officer who has worked at the TPS for many years said that the rat problem is not new.

“This is a very sad situation for us. We work one one side of the office while big rats are running around at the other side of the office,” another police officer commented.

Another noted, “Last Friday, health inspectors were shocked during their visit when they observed so many rats running around inside the office. Some of them are big and it’s not just one or two rats. There are many rats living in the building.”

They were told by health inspectors that the situation at the TPS is not safe and the building needs to be closed down, some police officers reported to Samoa News.

“One health inspector said the building is hazardous and they were shocked to see that the problem was there for many years, but officers are still occupying the building everyday.”

Efforts to get a comments from the DPS Deputy Commissioner Terry Letuli were unsuccessful.

However, a senior officer explained that this is one of the issues DPS officials discussed last week because of the situation at the building.

“Last week, DPS officials stated that the TPS is dirty and needs to be cleaned. The next day, DoH health inspectors visited the building and immediately made a decision to condemn it.

TPS is perhaps the busiest police substation due to it’s location — it handles law enforcement issues that happen within the most populous counties in the territory located on the western side of Tutuila island — Tualatai County and Tualauta County, including Ituau County (Nuuuli).

It’s not clear at this time what the next move from DPS will be.