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Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Lincoln Ashida “The Commission (Police) cannot legally mete out discipline against police officers.”

So here is part of Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Lincoln Ashida’s response to a recent newspaper article.

“…The duties and roles of “police commissioners” differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In some mainland jurisdictions, police commissioners are paid, full time employees (in some places elected) who are vested with the authority to discipline police officers.  This is not the function of commissioners in Hawai‘i, and certainly not a responsibility the Commission could assume by simply changing its rules.

The Commission cannot legally mete out discipline against police officers. This is true for all four commissions statewide in all four counties. The legal reason for this is under our laws, only the employer may discipline public sector employees.  This is why the Commission’s responsibility is to investigate charges of misconduct, and then refer the case to the Chief (the employer) to conduct an internal investigation and mete out appropriate discipline…”

I’m not quite sure I understand this. What happens if the Chief happens to be in co-hoots with his officers?

But then Mr. Ashida goes on to say:

…If you have any concerns about our police department, ask your commissioner.  You will find like you their primary concern is helping build a stronger community…

Well someone correct me if I’m wrong… but we here in Puna haven’t had a commissioner for at least a year and a half that I can think of.

One Response

  1. The Hawaii County Police Commission fired their last private investigator years ago.

    There are no civilian controls on our police.

    Even after a former police chief was convicted of fraud, bribery and racketeering, no one claimed to have the power to remove him.

    These are some of the reasons we need an Independent Police Auditor system. 99% of our police are great, but some are not so great. A police auditor system could improve the image of our police and improve the administration of justice in our county.


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