Kailua-Kona to Receive New Sheriff

There will soon be a new sheriff in Kailua-Kona town.

Hawai‘i Public Safety Department officials, family members and friends gathered in Waipio, O‘ahu, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, to witness the graduation of the Law Enforcement Recruit Class 17-01 for Deputy Sheriffs at the Hawai‘i Okinawa Center.

Twenty new deputies were added to the Sheriff Division and will be assigned to positions across the state. One will be assigned to Kona on Hawai‘i Island and the remaining 19 will be assigned to O‘ahu.

Hawai‘i Public Safety Department Photo

The new deputies were presented with graduation certificates, followed by the recitation of the Oath of Office and the badge presentation. A family member was picked to pin the badge on the new deputy sheriff.

“After six long months of developing the skills necessary to prepare for a career as a State Law Enforcement Officer, 20 new deputy sheriffs stand ready,” said Sheriff Training Lt. Lane Martin. “Ready to serve and protect our Kupuna, our Keiki, our Ohana, across all of Hawai‘i Nei. I am honored to stand alongside these men and women and be a part of that.”

The recruits were trained in nearly 1,000 hours of academic instruction in laws and procedures, constant testing, training in physical fitness, and police tactics.

Student awards for Top Gun, Physical Fitness, Leadership and Academic Average were also handed out to the recruits who ranked at the top of their class in those areas.

The Sheriff Division carries out law enforcement services statewide. Its mission is to promote public safety by: protecting all persons and property within premises under the control of the Judiciary and all state facilities, providing process services and execution of court documents, handling detained persons and providing secure transportation for persons in custody.

It also provides law enforcement services at the Honolulu International Airport.

Senator Introduces Law Enforcement Bills

Senator Will Espero, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, introduced six bills related to law enforcement that address several concerns of public safety around the state.
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“These bills will improve and strengthen our law enforcement at the county and state level,” said Espero (D, ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of ‘Ewa Villages). “The bills are good for law enforcement officers and for the general public as a whole.”

One of the bills, SB2590, prompted by the Christopher Deedy trial, in which the defendant, a federal agent, was charged with murder after shooting a man at a fast-food restaurant after a night of bar-hopping, seeks to prohibit all county and state law enforcement officers from the consumption of alcohol while carrying a firearm. (On Aug. 26, 2013, a Honolulu judge declared a mistrial as the jury was unable to reach a verdict.)

“We expect the best from those who serve and protect, and we hold them to the highest standards,” said Espero. “This bill helps to ensure the safety of both civilians and law enforcement in the state.”

“On another issue of firearms, I’ve introduced a bill that would establish an online firearms registration process to streamline the process for owners and officials,” he added, “One of the biggest complaints about government is inefficiency. With this measure, everyone will save time and money.”

IMPROVING AND STRENGTHENING LAW ENFORCEMENT

SB2937 Relating to a Law Enforcement Standards Board

Establishes a statewide law enforcement standards board for the licensing and certification of county police officers, state public safety officers, and employees of the departments of transportation and land and natural resources with police powers. Establishes a special fund. Appropriates funds.  Hawaii is only state in the nation without any state-level regulation of police.

SB2591 Relating to Law Enforcement

Requires the chief of each county police department to submit an annual report to the legislature of misconduct incidents that resulted in suspension or discharge of a police officer from the calendar year immediately prior to the year of the report submission. Requires the county police departments to provide updated information in each successive annual report until the highest non-judicial grievance adjustment procedure has concluded. Requires the county police departments to retain the disciplinary records in accordance with its record retention policy or for at least six months, whichever period is longer.

SB2589 Relating to Law Enforcement

Transfers the law enforcement functions of the harbors division of the department of transportation to the department of public safety, effective July 1, 2016.

SB2938 Relating to Firearms Registration

Requires each county to establish an online firearms registration process to be fully implemented by July 1, 2015.

SB2590 Relating to Firearms

Prohibits state and county law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry firearms from consuming alcohol or ingesting prescription medications that would impair the judgment or physical response of the employee while carrying a firearm. Prohibits the consumption of alcohol for an unspecified number of hours prior to carrying a firearm.

SB2588 Relating to Unsworn Falsification to a Law Enforcement Officer

Creates the offense of unsworn falsification to a law enforcement officer and a penalty of not less than a misdemeanor.