HPD releases officer misconduct in last 6 years

Published On: Feb 27 2013 11:40:59 AM HST   Updated On: Feb 27 2013 01:17:34 PM HST

Each year the Honolulu Police Department releases a summary of misconduct committed by its officers.  While it doesn't name names, it does detail what kind of disciplinary action is taken for each offense.

In the past six years, 166 officers have been involved in 172 incidents that were serious enough that the officers were suspended or discharged.

Many of them are considered administrative violations by HPD, but there are also criminal convictions.

During that time, five of the officers were fired for not following the department's rules and regulations.

HPD says it takes this issue seriously and has 12 full-time detectives and a supporting administrative staff internally investigating complaints and charges against police officers.

"Anytime an officer is involved in wrongdoing, it looks poorly on all officers because the spotlight is shown on the department," said Capt. Larry Lawson.

What types of wrongdoing were police committing?

In 2007, an officer was suspended 10 days for mistreating a prisoner.

In 2009, an officer on sick leave, who exercised in the department's fitness room, was suspended for three days.  That is two more days than a number of officers who pleaded no contest to criminal misdemeanor charges and only were suspended one day.

Some cops could also be convicted criminals.

"We treat every case as if it is a felony because we want to make sure we're investigating them fully and we come to the best resolution for the victim," said Capt. Lawson.  "We also want to show that what is being alleged, if it shows the officer didn't commit it, we want to be able to show that our officers didn't commit this act."

A number of officers only received a single day of suspension for misdemeanor activities.  However, a felony conviction for sex assault warranted dismissal.

Other officers were fired for failing drug tests and evading other officers to avoid arrest themselves while off duty.

One officer is no longer with the force after drinking intoxicating beverages while on duty then making rude and derogatory remarks to two people filing complaints.

For more on this story, check out the website for our partner CivilBeat.com for detailed analysis of the annual reports.


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