Monday, July 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, March 4, 2023
SB151: Hawaii lawmakers considering police reforms
By Selected News Articles @ 3:22 PM :: 1786 Views :: Police

Hawaii lawmakers considering police reforms

by Carolyn Grindrod,  The Center Square, March 3, 2023

(The Center Square) - A proposed bill that could further police reform efforts in Hawaii cleared two committees despite mixed feelings from some of the state's law enforcement organizations.

Senate Bill 151 would require police departments and law enforcement agencies across Hawaii to develop policies, procedures and training that outline proper de-escalation and crisis intervention tactics and how to handle reports of excessive force.

The bill, drafted by Sen. Stanley Chang D-Honolulu, would also require departments to create specific guidelines for when police officers should or should not draw their firearms during the line of duty.

Law enforcement officers who witness excessive force being used by another police officer would also be required under the proposed legislation to report the incident to their department head, which would be obligated to investigate the incident and report findings within 15 days to the chief of police.

Kauai Police Department Todd Raybuck said the agency already has policies and procedures in place now to protect not only police officers but the public as well.

"The Kauai Police Department is committed to ensuring that force used by officers in the performance of duties is proper, lawful, and necessary," Raybuck said in his written testimony. "The Department’s use of force policies and practices are also in accordance and compliance with accreditation standards set by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and federal mandates for law enforcement organizations that receive federal grant funding."

Other law enforcement agencies testified against the bill. Robert Cavaco, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said the bill would perpetuate scrutiny of law enforcement officers and departments already struggling with hiring shortages.

"Standards on the use of force have already been established over the many years by each respective county in conjunction with their human resources departments," Cavaco said in written testimony. "Thus, the substance of SB 151 SD1 is already in place within the county’s departments, which need not be disturbed or interfered with by the legislature."

Manuel Hernandez, captain of the Honolulu Police Department's training division, said he supported the bill's sections concerning policies and procedures. But the 15-day timeframe to complete investigations was insufficient in certain situations.

"Administrative investigations into any use of force incident may be complex, and this timeline is not feasible for a thorough investigation to be completed," Hernandez said.

Hawaii Attorney General Ann Lopez said in a written statement that requiring an officer to report any suspected excessive use of force they see in writing could be burdensome. 

"The Department believes this would generate an exponential amount of unnecessary scrutiny," Lopez said in her letter. "Instead, the proposed requirement should be invoked only in cases where the officer sees "force that the law enforcement officer believes to be beyond that which is necessary, as determined by an objectively reasonable officer under the circumstances, based upon the totality of information actually known to the law enforcement officer." 

The bill passed the Judiciary and Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee and would next be considered by the full Senate.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii