|Mission Statement/Vision Statement/Core Values||
|Letter from the Police Chief||
|Letter from the Police Commission Chair||
|Hawai‘i County Police Commission||
|Special Response Team||
|Photos of Police Administration||
|Criminal Investigations Divisions||
|Area I Patrol Districts||
|Area II Patrol Districts||
|Traffic Enforcement Unit||
|Statistical Tables & Charts||
The employees of the Hawai‘i Police Department are committed to preserving the Spirit of Aloha. We will work cooperatively with the community to enforce the laws, preserve peace, and provide a safe environment.
The Hawai‘i Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police service and forming partnerships with the community to achieve public satisfaction making the Big Island a safe place to live, visit, and conduct business.
2008-2009 Annual Report
|Harry S. Kubojiri
Hawai‘i Police Department
Hawai‘i County Police Commission
County of Hawai‘i
101 Pauahi Street, Suite 9
Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720
I am pleased to submit the Hawai‘i Police Department’s Annual Report for fiscal year 20082009. During this fiscal year, we continued to make improvements to help provide the best possible service to our residents. As in recent years, we continued with ongoing state-of-the-art training for our officers and civilian employees.
Our officers continue to make progress in fighting the war on crystal methamphetamine and other illegal drugs by using enforcement and preventive measures. School Resource Officers work with schools to provide positive role models and teach curriculum designed for school children, including anti-drug classes.
This fiscal year, we looked for new ways to reach out to the community. Toward that goal, we began to hold monthly public meetings throughout the island. The meetings allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with me, the deputy chief and the commanders who oversee police operations at the local level.
In June 2008, we conducted a Community Satisfaction Survey. Its purpose was to learn how the Police Department is perceived by the public so we can identify the areas that need improvement.
Another step toward improving our rapport with the community is through our new Bicycle Patrol. Although this project is still in its infancy, residents have voiced enthusiastic support for our officers as they ride through the community on bicycles.
We remain committed to enhancing our partnership with the public through community policing and participation in neighborhood and charitable events. We look forward to working with our neighbors to make the island of Hawai‘i a safe place to live, visit and work.
On behalf of the entire Police Department, I thank you for your continued support.
Harry S. Kubojiri
|Thomas P. Whittemore
Hawai‘i County Police Commission
Dear Mayor Kenoi:
In late 2008, the Hawai‘i County Police Commission was honored with the task of selecting a new police chief to replace Chief Lawrence K. Mahuna, who would retire at the end of the year after nearly 36 years of service.
After reviewing the applicants for his replacement, we interviewed two finalists. On December 3, 2008, the Police Commission voted unanimously to select Deputy Chief Harry S. Kubojiri as the new chief.
On December 30, the commission confirmed Paul Ferreira as Kubojiri’s choice for deputy chief. Chief Kubojiri and Deputy Chief Ferreira took their oaths of office on January 5, 2009, during a ceremony at the Public Safety Building in Hilo.
We look forward to our continued work with the new chief and deputy and offer our best wishes to the outgoing chief.
Also this fiscal year, the Police Commission held our regular monthly meetings with a rotating schedule that took us to Hilo, Waimea and Kona. Throughout the year, commission members attended recruit recognition ceremonies for new police officers, observed commanders meetings, participated in Police Week, took part in various island-wide community meetings and flew to off-island annual conferences.
I know I speak for my fellow commissioners when I say it is a pleasure to serve the people of Hawai‘i County as a member of the Police Commission.
Thomas P. Whittemore
Chair, Hawai‘i County Police Commission
|At Right, the members of the Hawai‘i County Police Commission at the end of the 2008 2009 fiscal year:Donn Mende, Richard Behenna, Carol Ignacio, Michael Sumja, Secretary Josie Pelayo, Louis Kaoiwi, Anita Politano Steckel, Thomas Whittemore, Melvin Morimoto|
Nine Big Island residents proudly serve on the Hawai‘i County Police Commission. The mayor appoints one member from each district and each appointment is subject to confirmation by the Hawai‘i County Council.
The commission’s most important responsibilities, as delineated in the Hawai‘i County Charter, are to appoint and remove the police chief at its sole discretion, confirm the chief’s appointment of a deputy chief, and consider public complaints against the department or any of its members and then submit findings to the chief.
According to the County Charter, the commission’s other functions are to:
At the end of the fiscal year, the Police Commission members were:
|Lieutenant Samuel Kawamoto, Special Response Team commander, pops his head out the hatch of one of the SRT’s specialized vehicles.|
The mission of the Special Response Team is to support the Hawai‘i Police Department and any other requesting law enforcement agency with a response to critical incidents.
Critical incidents are hostage situations, barricade situations, sniper situations, high-risk warrant service and special assignments. The team also provides security for visiting dignitaries.
The Special Response Team consists of specially selected officers who train extensively throughout the year ensuring operational readiness. The SRT includes a crisis negotiation team that receives special training to develop communication skills that are necessary for defusing volatile situations.
The SRT’s incident commander, tactical team, crisis negotiation team and support personnel conduct monthly scenario training at different locations throughout the Big Island.
From July 2008 through June 2009, the Special Response Team responded to two barricaded situations, served one high-risk warrant and conducted four security details and one special assignment. The Special Response Team is also tasked with managing the department’s taser program and participation in community outreach programs.
From its inception to 2008, the SRT responded to 78 incidents, resulting in a peaceful resolution every time.
SRT’s day-to-day operations fall under the Administrative Services Division. When the team is mobilized, its operations fall under the command of the assistant chief of Area I Operations.
|Community Police Officers Jesse Kerr and Todd Pataray set off for bicycle patrol.|
Officers from the Hawai’i Police Department began making bicycle patrols in East Hawai‘i at the beginning of April 2009.
The bike patrols in Puna and Hilo Police began with funding from the Pāhoa Weed and Seed project, which aims to “weed out” crime and “seed in” community development.
Officers on refurbished old bicycles saw immediate positive results in the areas of liquor enforcement, drug enforcement and community satisfaction, said Lieutenant Jason Cortez, supervisor of the department’s Community Policing Section. “Feedback from the community has been great,” Cortez said. “The officers were actually cheered when they rode through downtown Hilo.”
In June 2009, the Bicycle Patrol received a financial boosta $25,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The grant money went toward providing training for Bicycle Patrol officers in the areas of cultural awareness, crisis intervention, homelessness and mental illness. It also funded bicycle safety training and the purchase and maintenance of equipment and special uniforms.
At the end of the fiscal year, the Police Department was working toward expanding the Bicycle Patrol into West Hawai‘i.
Commanders: Area I, Lieutenant Albert Jason Cortez/Area II, Sgt. Nancy Haitsuka
The people of Hawai‘i County have continued to embrace the Community Policing philosophy. Its strategy is to prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime, arrest those who commit crimes, and provide a safe environment through the use of a proactive problem-solving approach and established partnerships.
At the end of Fiscal Year 20082009, the Community Policing section had 35 authorized positions, including a supervising sergeant in Area II and a lieutenant in Area I. Of those, 15 positions were allocated for Community Police Officers, six for School Resource Officers, two for hi-pal officers and one for a civilian.
During the fiscal year, our Community Police Officers, School Resource Officers and hi-pal staff continued to pursue partnerships with community groups in a collaborative effort to address substance abuse, homelessness, mental health issues, crime, homeland security, lack of youth activities and numerous other issues.
During Fiscal Year 20082009, Community Police Officers partnered with the following groups, resulting in the following outcomes:
|Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center, Hāmākua Drug Free Committee, Laupāhoehoe Train Museum, Mayor’s Office||Drug Free Bash activities for 6th-8th graders from Kalaniana‘ole, Pa‘auilo, Laupāhoehoe & Honoka‘a|
|Sixteen Department of Education elementary and intermediate schools||DARE classes provided by SROs to about 2,900 students in grades 5-8|
|Pāhoa Weed and Seed, Puna Action Team, Neighborhood Place of Puna, QLCC, Prosecutor’s Office
||Continued participation with the Weed and Seed project by stepped-up police enforcement and joining with various neighborhood groups in activities such as Springtime Jam, booster seat giveaway and a wrestling clinic/drug presentation for 100+ kids.|
|Department of Parks and Recreation, Pony Baseball
||Memorial Day baseball tournament, State Baseball Tournament|
|Department of Parks and Recreation, Keaukaha Athletic Association||Spring Basketball Tournament, Click It Or Ticket 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in Kea‘au, Halloween Havoc 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in Keaukaha, Fall Intermediate Basketball League, Winter Basketball Classic|
|Department of Parks and Recreation, New Hope Hāmākua, Kalaniana‘ole School||HI-PAL Open Gym Night at Pāpa‘ikou with various youth activities.|
|Downtown Improvement Association, Planning Department, Friends of Downtown Hilo.||Continued work with “Envision Downtown Hilo 2025”|
|Boy Scouts of America-Aloha Council||Safety and fingerprinting merit badges, training of more than 100 scouts.|
Our School Resource Officers are stationed at six intermediate schools throughout the island and also reach out to students at many feeder schools. The school is considered a community within a community, and with law enforcement present, it becomes a more complete community. The School Resource Officers wear three hats: law enforcement officer, teacher and counselor. They deal with crimes on campus, teach classes to students, provide presentations when requested and act as liaisons between the school and the Police Department. These officers continue to provide dare classes, law-related training, counseling and mentoring to students daily and are involved in school intramural activities.
Community Police Officers also continued with dare+ days, a summer daytime activity that provides drug resistance education combined with various activities, such as cooking classes, sports and fishing.
The Weed and Seed endeavors continue to be successful, with collaborative efforts in Pāhoa and the surrounding community to provide crime prevention presentations on topics such as identity theft, home security and drug recognition. Recently a Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Grant was secured, some of which will fund the upgrade of Pāhoa surveillance cameras. For the Fiscal Year 2008 2009, police efforts in and around the site have resulted in 350 arrests for various offenses, including 15 liquor violations, 38 drug violations, and 42 violent crimes.
Our Community Police Officers regularly attend Neighborhood Watch and community association meetings to provide crime prevention presentations. Other notable Community Policing/hi-pal activities include:
|Deputy Police Chief|
|Records & Identification|
|Area I Operations Bureau|
|Criminal Investigations Div.|
|Criminal Investigations Sec.|
|Juvenile Aid Section|
|South Hilo Patrol|
|North Hilo District|
|Traffic Enforcement Unit|
|Community Police Officers|
|School Resource Officers|
|Area II Operations Bureau|
|Criminal Investigations Div.|
|Criminal Investigations Sec.|
|Juvenile Aid Section|
|South Kohala District|
|North Kohala District|
|Traffic Enforcement Unit|
|Community Police Officers|
|School Resource Officers|
Deputy Police Chief
Commander: Capt. James O’Connor
The Internal Affairs and Criminal Intelligence Units report directly to the police chief.
|Internal Affairs Mission Statement
The mission of Internal Affairs is to protect and serve the public, the employee and the department through fair, thorough and proactive investigations of alleged misconduct while preserving the spirit of aloha.
During the Fiscal Year 20082009, the Internal Affairs Unit conducted 54 administrative investigations and 81 internal inquiries into actions by police department personnel. The detectives also provided 38 in-service training sessions to employees.
Internal Affairs also conducted 51 Quality Control and Compliance Inspections (QCCI) of various elements of the department to prevent the abuse, misuse, fraud, and waste of department resources. The goal of the QCCI is to provide a safe working environment, maintain a degree of government and public trust, and prevent a financial or libelous predicament while creating an attitude of pride and discipline.
In Fiscal Year 20082009, the Criminal Intelligence Unit provided intelligence information, which in whole or part led to initiating 55 criminal investigations. The unit also submitted 372 intelligence reports during this period.
The unit conducted 485 criminal history investigations for prospective department employees, other designated employees, and prospective employees of other county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The unit is a member of the Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU)a National organization for criminal intelligence officersa member of the State organization of Inter-County Criminal Intelligence Unit (ICCIU), the department’s liaison to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and a member of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.
Officers from the Criminal Intelligence Unit also conducted surveillance and provided intelligence that aided criminal investigation detectives in successfully completing numerous felony investigations.
Commanders: June 2008Assist. Chief Paul Ferreira/July 2009Assist. Chief Marshall Kanehailua
The Administrative Bureau is divided into two divisionsAdministrative Services and Technical Services. A police major heads each one.
Commanders: July 2008Maj. Marshall Kanehailua /June 2009Maj. Paul Kealoha
The Administrative Services Division includes the Finance Section, Word Processing Section, Public Relations Section, Human Resources Section and Training Section.
The Finance Section is responsible for payroll, accounts payable, officers’ gas and oil accounts, special duty work, inventory and other finance-related tasks.
The Word Processing Center is responsible for transcribing all narrative police reports that sworn personnel dictate into a digital recording system. After completion and approval, the reports routed via the Records Management System, become the official documents that detail the Department’s criminal investigations.
Throughout the 20082009 Fiscal Year, the Word Processing Center worked long hours in an attempt to keep up with the high workload. The Word Processing Center is composed of one clerical services supervisor, one assistant clerical supervisor, and 13 clerk III staff members. Their responsibilities include the processing, transcribing and routing by the Records Management System all police narrative dictations for timely prosecution. More than 30,600 reports were transcribed, totaling about 309,600 minutes of dictation.
The Public Relations Section is responsible for maintaining the department’s Web site, responding to inquiries from the news media, producing the cable access television program “Hawai‘i Island’s Most Wanted” and publishing the department’s annual report and employee newsletter.
The Special Response Team (SRT) is mobilized for high-risk, tactical operations involving barricaded suspects, hostage situations and high-risk warrant services. The team also provides security for visiting dignitaries and politicians. The SRT’s day-to-day operations fall under the Administrative Services Section. When the team is mobilized, its activities fall under Area I Operations.
Throughout Fiscal Year 20082009, the Department’s Human Resources Section, in cooperation with the Hawai‘i County Department of Human Resources, continued an aggressive Police Officer Recruitment campaign. The campaign initially involved a continuous open recruitment supported by media advertisements, participation by officers in career fairs, school appearances and magazine advertisements. In October 2008, the final police entrance examination was administered to close the open enrollment campaign. The department filled all of its vacant, sworn positions on June 16, 2009.
The Training Section conducted training for two recruit classes (the 75th and the 76th) consisting of a combined total of 29 officers.
The department continued its Police Cadet Program. In partnership with Hawai‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, the Department provided one qualified cadet with tuition reimbursement through the Police Cadet Tuition Reimbursement Program. The Department began its 2nd Cadet Class on February 5, 2009, with 12 cadets. During the fiscal year, eight cadets transitioned to Police Officer I positions.
In Fiscal Year 20082009 the Department targeted all its in-house use-of-force instructors for certification or recertification. This included Arrest Control Techniques, Wooden Baton, Electronic Control Device, Firearms Instructors, OC Spray, and ASP Baton.
The Department provided more than 12,080 hours of training to its personnel and increased its training from the previous year by approximately 13 percent.
The department hosted three, one-week training courses on Death and Homicide Investigations, Crime Scene Investigations, and FBI-LEEDA Supervisor and Leadership. A total of 94 sworn personnel attended these training courses.
Commander: Major Larry Weber
The Technical Services Division is in charge of the Communications Maintenance Section, Computer Center, Communications Dispatch Section, Records and Identification Section and Traffic Services Section.
By the end of the fiscal year, the Records and Identification Section was using the Records Management System (RMS) to send all cases electronically to the Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Office that had previously been sent by hard copy. The cases sent electronically now include those with a “deferred” closure status. Previously, only cases with an “arrested and charged” closure status were sent electronically.
Cases with a “deferred” status indicate that the police investigator believes there may be enough evidence to hold a certain individual responsible for a particular crime and wants the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to review the investigation for possible charges. In these cases, one or more persons may have been arrested but released without charges pending further investigation. Once an investigation is completed and forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review, it is officially considered “deferred.”
Now, when an officer defers a case, the entire investigation reaches the prosecutor’s office electronically on the same day or the next day. This has been a giant step for the Records and Identification Section and the Hawai‘i Police Department.
From July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009, 1,234 cases were sent to prosecutors electronically.
The Communications Dispatch Center continued to work with wireless service providers to enhance the Wireless Enhanced 911 system deployed in April 2007. During Fiscal Year 20082009, the Police Department
worked with those service providers to deploy 43 new towers and 132 new sectors. Continued maintenance of the data and cellular sites was conducted through audits of the data provided by the various wireless service providers. This process includes updating the geographic information system (GIS) map layers and verifying the data that is displayed during a live 911 call, which helps the dispatchers determine the location of callers so they can send assistance to them. Nine new layers were added to the existing Positron mapping system and all of the previous layers were updated.
In February 2009, the Hawai‘i Police Department deployed an aerial mapping system called Pictometry. Pictometry imaging allows the dispatchers to provide information to the first responders such as the terrain, number of homes, heights of buildings. Pictometry imaging also allows the dispatcher to have 360 degree visual image of specific areas of the island. While this data was purchased for use within the Communications Dispatch Center, this data can be shared with other sections of the department as well as within the county.
During the 20082009 Fiscal Year, the Dispatch Center received 118,301 emergency 911 calls, with only 16 percent of those being transferred to the Fire Department. Requests for police service are made using the 911 emergency call system, the police non-emergency telephone line and incidents that are reported directly to police officers or at the police station. All requests are recorded, logged, assigned and documented by Communications Dispatch personnel using the Computer Aided Dispatch system. There were 180,583 events that documented such requests.
The department successfully completed two police radio dispatcher recruit classes to increase staffing. On-the-job training for the class that started in May 2008 was completed and another police radio dispatcher class started in January 2009. At the end of the fiscal year, the Police Department was in the process of planning for a new police radio dispatcher class that was to begin in August 2009.
The Communications Dispatch Center also processed 317 requests for 911 tapes, an increase of 16.1 percent from the 20072008 Fiscal Year.
The Police Department received $393,870 in federal grant funds, which the Traffic Services Section oversees, for traffic enforcement and equipment purchases to improve traffic safety. Police continued efforts to make Big Island roadways safer by using the grant funds to pay for overtime for checkpoints and other enforcement projects aimed at reducing injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes by increasing seat belt use rates, apprehending impaired drivers, and enforcing speed regulations and illegal “outlaw” road racing.
Other Traffic Services Section highlights include:
As of July 1, 2008, Driver Licensing and Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection operations were transferred from the Police Department to the County Finance Department’s Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division.
Commanders: Asst. Chief Derek Pacheco/Maj. Samuel Thomas
The Area I Operations Bureau includes investigative and patrol operations in East Hawai‘i. Its districts include Hāmākua, North Hilo, South Hilo and Puna an area encompassing 1,685 square miles. A captain heads each of the four patrol districts.
Commanders: Asst. Chief Henry Tavares/Maj. John Dawrs
The Area II Operations Bureau includes investigative and patrol operations in West Hawai‘i. The 2,345 square-mile area includes the districts of North Kohala, South Kohala, Kona and Ka‘u, each headed by a captain.
Commanders: Area I, Capt. Randall Medeiros/Area II, Capt. Paul Kealoha
The Police Department’s investigative operations fall under the Criminal Investigations Divisions, one in Area I and one in Area II. CID commanders oversee the operations of the Criminal Investigations Section, Juvenile Aid Section and Vice Section with operations in both Area I and Area II. Area I also includes the Crime Lab in Hilo.
Commanders: Area I, Lt. Mitchell Kanehailua / Area II, Lt. Darren Horio
The Criminal Investigations Sections investigate all major crimes, such as murders, felony assaults, major property crimes and financial crimes. In addition, cis detectives respond to all reported suicides, child deaths and other deaths with questionable circumstances
During Fiscal Year 20082009, the Area I Criminal Investigations Section investigated 2,246 crimes. Of those, 799 were burglaries, 544 were thefts and 431 were financial crimes. In comparison with the previous fiscal year, this represents a 6 percent increase in the number of burglaries investigated, an 8 percent increase in thefts and a 2 percent decrease in financial crimes. The overall solution rate for Area I cis this fiscal year was 50 percent.
Area I cis detectives investigated one attempted murder, two manslaughter, and four murder cases. Detectives solved all but one of the cases by the end of the fiscal year. The remaining case occurred on June 30, 2009, and was still under investigation.
One of the cases involved the October 2008 fatal shooting of a 33-year-old man in Hilo. The investigation revealed that the victim and the 31-year-old suspect got into an altercation at Puhi Bay, where the suspect shot the victim in the chest with a shotgun. The men, who are related through marriage, had an ongoing feud with each other. The shooter pleaded guilty to manslaughter and two weapons offenses.
A case reported in July 2008 as a missing person tragically turned into a homicide when detectives served a search warrant at an Orchidland Estates property to locate a possible burial site. Detectives unearthed the remains of a human body from a shallow grave behind a house on the property. The remains were positively identified as the missing woman, who was 33 at the time of her disappearance nearly eight months earlier. The case was referred to the Prosecutor’s office.
In December, a visitor to MacKenzie State Park in Puna observed the body of a young man at the bottom of a cliff. Responding detectives observed multiple gunshot wounds about the body. They also quickly determined that the shooting occurred elsewhere and not at the park. Fingerprint identification of the victim led the detectives to a home in Leilani Estates. Police obtained a search warrant and found that the shooting had occurred in that house. During attempts to notify the victim’s father, detectives learned that he had been involved in a traffic accident in the Kona District
and was on the island of Oahu in critical condition. Forensics testing developed the victim’s father as the suspect. He was arrested and charged and subsequently convicted of manslaughter.
Detective BJ Duarte and Detective John Rodrigues were honored as the East Hawai‘i Exchange Club’s “Officer of the Month” for the months of April and May, respectively. Detective Duarte was recognized for his investigation of the robbery of a tourist at Rainbow Falls. Detective Rodrigues was honored for his work in identifying and dismantling several burglary rings operating out of the Hilo and Puna Districts.
During Fiscal Year 2008 2009, the Area II Criminal Investigations Section investigated 871 crimes: 291 burglaries, 209 thefts, 116 financial crimes and 255 other miscellaneous crimes. This represented a 13 percent increase in the number of burglaries investigated over the previous fiscal year, a 51 percent decrease in thefts and a 56 percent increase in financial crimes. The overall solution rate for Area II cis this fiscal year was 61 percent.
Area II cis detectives investigated one attempted murder and two murder cases. They were all solved by the end of the fiscal year.
One of them involved the death of a woman from South Kona. On August 12, 2008, the 57-year-old woman died after being stabbed by her brother-in-law at their home in Ka‘ohe. The two were arguing in their kitchen when the 60-year-old man stabbed the woman in the shoulder with a pocket knife, causing her to bleed internally. He was arrested at the scene without incident and charged with her murder. Another womanthe suspect’s wife and the victim’s sistersustained minor injuries while trying to protect her sister. She was treated and released at Kona Community Hospital.
On September 7, 2008, an 85-year-old man was found dead at his home on Ali‘i Drive in North Kona. He was lying in bed on his back with a single stab wound to his upper torso. As a result of an investigative autopsy and other forensic investigative tools, the incident was determined to be a suicide.
On May 6, 2009, Ka‘ū patrol officers responded to a shooting at a house in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Subdivision. Officers discovered a 44-year-old man dead nearby on the roadway with a shotgun wound to his back. A 47-year-old man at the house was arrested and the firearm was recovered at the scene. The 47-year-old resident had discovered an intruder on his property attempting to break into his greenhouse where the resident was cultivating medical marijuana plants. At least two shots were fired, one fatally injuring the trespasser. An autopsy verified that the victim died from the gunshot wound and the shooter was charged with murder. A jury convicted the shooter of manslaughter.
Commanders: Area I, Lt. Ronald Paul /Area II, Lt. Glenn Uehana
The Juvenile Aid Section is primarily responsible for the investigation of sexual assaults, domestic violence and other family-related crimes, as well as internet crimes involving child exploitation. Jas also investigates runaways, truants, curfew violators and serious crimes involving juvenile offenders. Two officers in JAS are also trained as canine handlers to assist in investigations of missing persons.
The Juvenile Aid Section has on staff a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (safe) Coordinator, who is a nurse examiner who specializes in forensic/medical examinations of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The safe Coordinator also actively recruits other nurses to become certified nurse examiners in the safe program to provide these services throughout the island.
A Victim Services Coordinator remains on staff in the East Hawai‘i Juvenile Aid Section. The coordinator inputs and analyzes data on reported crimes of domestic violence and sexual assaults. In addition, the coordinator serves as a liaison for the department with social service agencies and victims of family and sexual violence.
JAS is divided into three specialized units: the Sex Crimes Unit (specializing in sexual assault investigations), the Domestic Violence Unit (specializing in domestic abuse cases) and the General Detail Unit, which covers all other crimes related to juveniles. The Area I Juvenile Aid Section also has two detectives who have been trained to recover digital evidence from computers, mobile devices, cell phones and other electronic storage media.
In August 2008, Area I JAS detectives conducted an investigation in which a 35-year-old male British citizen was arrested at the Hilo airport for first-degree promotion of child abuse. Subsequent investigations led to an indictment of the suspect in federal court for one count of transportation of child pornography. Subsequent examination by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers of his computer and external hard drive found numerous videos of child pornography. At the end of the fiscal year, the case was pending in federal court.
Katie, a yellow Labrador retriever, is a “scent-discriminating” tracking canine assigned to JAS Area I. Canines for Kids donated Katie to the Police Department in 2006 and the Missing Children Center of Hawai‘i and the Children’s Justice Centers of Hawai‘i provided additional funding. Katie’s primary duties are to assist in locating missing children and Alzheimer’s patients, although she may be called upon to trail criminal suspects. Tucker, the Department’s first missing persons canine, was retired because of health problems.
During the 20082009 fiscal year, JAS Area I detectives investigated 511 cases, including sex assaults, domestic violence and related cases, child pornography and other juvenile-related crimes, such as burglaries, robberies and status offenses.
The Area II Juvenile Aid Section investigated 105 sexual assault cases and cleared 96. (Four were suspended and five were ongoing.) During the same period, police investigated 40 cases involving child abuse or abuse of family/household member. Of those, they cleared 38 cases. (One was suspended and one ongoing.)
On July 8, 2008, a female child reported that a male neighbor sexually assaulted her repeatedly over a period of time. As a result of this disclosure, Juvenile Aid detectives identified four additional child victims and interviewed them. The man was arrested for numerous offenses. He pleaded guilty and was awaiting sentencing as the fiscal year ended.
On May 7, 2008, a female child reported being molested by an adult male relative over a six-month period. The man was arrested for continuous sexual assault of a minor. After detectives completed the investigation, they forwarded it to the Prosecutor’s office.
Sometime between May 22, 2009, and May 25, 2009, unknown persons broke into the Konawaena High School locker
room and removed $7,560 worth of football jerseys. Investigation identified two juvenile suspects who were eventually arrested. The stolen property was recovered and returned to the school. At the end of the fiscal year, the Prosecutor’s office was reviewing the case.
Commanders: Area I, Lt. Richard Sherlock /Area II, Lt. Miles Chong
The Vice Sections (augmented by the Ice Task Force and the Airport Task Force) are responsible for preventing and suppressing all forms of commercialized vice activity, including prostitution, gambling and illegal trafficking of narcotics. Special operations and covert programs are in place to combat the cultivation of marijuana and distribution of illegal drugs. Federal and state grants sometime provide the necessary funding to accomplish these objectives.
In November 2008, Hawai‘i County voters passed a bill for an ordinance making the adult personal use of marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority of the Hawai‘i Police Department. While the department awaits a decision from the State Attorney General’s Office on the legality of the ordinance, the bill itself contains wording that prohibits the Hawai‘i County Council from accepting any federal funding for marijuana eradication.
The new ordinance impinged on the Police Department’s marijuana enforcement detail in two ways. First, federal grants have long funded the Police Department’s counter cannabis field operations to eradicate marijuana. Second, the funding formerly used to investigate commercial marijuana cultivation and distribution was tied into those same federal grants, thus limiting the Vice Section’s resources and tools to effectively target commercial cultivation and distribution. As a result, 65 percent fewer marijuana plants were eradicated than in the previous fiscal year. Also, 74 percent fewer arrests were made for commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana in Hawai‘i County. The Hawai‘i Police Department will continue to research and develop new ways to solve the problem of commercial cultivation and distribution of marijuana in the County of Hawai‘i.
Crystal Methamphetamineor “ice”continues to be the greatest threat to the community and continues to be the focus of the Hawai‘i Police Department Ice Task Force, as well as the entire Area I and Area II Vice Sections. Arrests for methamphetamine trafficking have increased as ice is continually being imported into the community from Honolulu and the West Coast by way of body carriers and parcel services.
Vice officers belong to the statewide Hawai‘i Narcotics Task Force, statewide Marijuana Eradication Task Force and the Domestic Cannabis Eradication Suppression Program and are involved in joint operations with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration Customs Enforcement, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Vice Sections also are a part of the Hawai‘i High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
The Hawai‘i Police Department’s Vice Sections continually strive to identify, infiltrate, and dismantle drug trafficking organizations in Hawai‘i County from the street to the highest level.
From April to August 2008, two Hawai‘i Police Department Vice officers worked in an undercover capacity with the Kauai Police Department targeting street- to mid-level drug dealers. The investigation, named “Operation Round Up,” was made possible by funding from the Hawai‘i Narcotics Task Force project and led to the arrests of more than 35 individuals for more than 100 charges ranging from outstanding courtroom warrants to methamphetamine trafficking.
In August 2008, Area I Vice officers received information from the Maui Police Department about a marijuana trafficking organization between Maui and Hilo. This led to the recovery of six pounds of dry marijuana intended to be smuggled by private plane between the two islands. The investigation concluded at a large, sophisticated indoor-growing operation on the Hāmākua coast, leading to three arrests and the recovery of 397 marijuana plants, five pounds of dry processed marijuana, and numerous vehicles and other property.
In September 2008, Hawai‘i Police Department task force officers from the Area I Vice Section working with the Drug Enforcement Administration were able to conduct a controlled delivery of 237 grams of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a water pump to a vacant address in Hilo, where a 37-year-old California man picked up the parcel. The Hawai‘i Airport Task Force had “interdicted” the parcel at the Honolulu FedEx office.
In February 2009, Area I Vice Officers, acting on information received during a Kona Vice arrest, served search warrants on two rental houses in the Volcano area of the Puna District. Vice officers discovered that the two homes were being used as indoor marijuana-growing operations. The warrants led to the recovery of 395 marijuana plants, 10 pounds of dry processed marijuana and a small amount of marijuana hashish. Arrested were three Puna men, aged 23, 26 and 61.
In April 2009, a 36-year-old Kea‘au man was arrested after a two-month investigation into drug trafficking led to the recovery of more than four ounces of “ice” being sold in ounce-size quantities. Police forwarded investigations to the Prosecutor’s office for a 47-year-old Kea‘au man involved in the drug ring. They also seized three vehicles and one custom-built motorcycle for forfeiture.
In April 2009, the Ice Task Force’s six-month investigation into a suspected Mexican drug-trafficking ring ended after a suspect intentionally rammed an on-duty patrol officer in Hilo while trying to elude Vice officers. The 47-year-old Hilo man was arrested on attempted murder charges. Vice officers recovered two ounces of ice and 13 ounces of powdered cocaine during the investigation. A search of the man’s vehicle revealed another pound of cocaine and $7,900 hidden in the quarter panels. The case was handed over to the U.S. Attorney’s office for prosecution. Also arrested in the investigation were a 39-year-old Mexican citizen and a 55-year-old Hilo woman.
In May 2009, a four-month investigation into a Kea‘au drug trafficking organization concluded with the arrest of a 60-year-old Kea‘au man, who had recently moved to the island from Honolulu. During the investigation, police served four search warrants, leading to the recovery of a half a pound of icemost often packaged in small quantities for sale on the streetand quantities of marijuana. As part of the investigation, police seized three vehicles, the suspect’s property and $60,000 in cash for forfeiture.
In connection with the above investigation,
police arrested 13 individuals for 46 related property crimes after recovering more than $15,000 in stolen property from a 60-year-old Kea‘au man’s home during one of the search warrants. The Criminal Investigations Section’s investigation revealed that the stolen properties were being bartered for drugs from the house.
In October 2008, an investigation conducted by the Area II Ice Task Force, with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration, led to the arrest of a Kailua-Kona man for meth trafficking shortly after he was observed leaving Kona International Airport. Investigators determined that the 36-year-old airline employee had smuggled a pound of crystal methamphetamine on a commercial airline flight from the mainland. Following his arrest, DEA agents and Hawai‘i police officers executed search warrants at his apartment and on his sports-utility vehicle and also recovered a loaded .38-caliber revolver. He was transported to the federal detention center on Oahu, where he was facing federal prosecution as the fiscal year ended.
In November 2008, Area II Vice officers teamed up with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for a controlled delivery of a parcel to a Kailua-Kona address. As a result, investigators arrested and charged a 46-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman who accepted the parcel, which contained more than 13 grams of black-tar heroin. A vehicle used by the suspects was seized for forfeiture and the case was sent to the Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Office.
In January 2009, the Area II Ice Task Force arrested a 28-year-old Mexican national residing in Kailua-Kona for methamphetamine trafficking. The month-long investigation led to the total recovery of 71.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine. He was taken into custody by agents of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for immigration violations.
Another month-long investigation culminated in a joint effort between the Area I and Area II Ice Task Forces that targeted a crystal methamphetamine distributor residing in Laupāhoehoe. This distribution network extended between East and West Hawai‘i. A total of 19 ounces of crystal methamphetamine were recovered and $4,560 was seized for forfeiture throughout the course of the investigation. A 20-year-old woman, originally from California, was arrested and charged with multiple drug offenses.
In September 2008, the Area II Vice Section executed a search warrant on a Pahala home in Ka‘ū after discovering that the owner, an 81-year-old man, had an illegal commercial marijuana-growing operation on his property. Following his arrest, police recovered 506 marijuana plants, approximately two pounds of dried/processed marijuana, three firearms and more than $43,000 in cash.
Acting on complaints from the public, police conducted a surveillance operation of a beach park in Kailua-Kona in February 2009. The operation led to the arrest of four men for gambling and drug offenses. During the operation, officers seized prescription pills, cash and more than 29 grams of dried marijuana. The operation also revealed that one of the men was wanted on a warrant for probation violation in Colorado. In addition, investigators discovered that the game organizer was also distributing marijuana at the beach park and was accepting prescription drugs as a “buy-in” for the card game.
An indoor marijuana growing operation was dismantled in April 2009 when officers served a search warrant at a Waikoloa home, leading to the arrest of six men and a juvenile female. Officers recovered 335 marijuana plants from a greenhouse, more than four pounds of dried/processed marijuana, “ice” pipes, two rifles and more than $1,650 in cash.
In February 2009, a joint investigation between the Airport Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration led to the seizure of nearly $55,000 in cash that was being smuggled in checked baggage out of the Kona airport. Investigators suspected the cash was drug proceeds belonging to a drug-trafficking organization having ties between Hawai‘i Island and the mainland.
In March 2009, a Waikoloa man was arrested at the Kona airport and later charged with cocaine offenses. Acting on a tip, investigators contacted the 43-year-old after he arrived on a flight from New Mexico. Officers recovered approximately six ounces of powdered cocaine that the man had concealed on his person. The street value of the cocaine was estimated at $9,600.
In June 2009, Vice investigators, in another joint agency operation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, searched a 20-year-old California woman at the Kona airport after she arrived on a domestic flight from California. Investigators discovered more than three pounds of cocaine and approximately 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine concealed in her luggage. The drugs had a combined street value of more than $107,000. The Drug Enforcement Administration took the woman into custody for federal prosecution.
Commander: Capt. Randy Apele
Area: 223 square miles/Authorized sworn positions: 18
The Hāmākua district has a population of approximately 6,108 residents and is served by 13 patrol officers, one Community Police Officer, two sergeants and a police operations clerkall under the command of the district captain.
A School Resource Officer (SRO) has been assigned to Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School since Calendar Year 2004. The SRO is based at the school with an office on campus for immediate police response. He has relieved patrol officers’ workload by handling school-related crimes and calls for assistance, and he has provided a “uniform presence” for security at the school.
Hāmākua Police focused on improving preliminary investigations during this past fiscal year. This initiative led to a large increase in burglary and theft clearances. Hāmākua Police cleared 11 of the 24 reported burglaries in the fiscal year for a clearance rate of 46 percent. Of the 101 reported thefts, 61 were cleared for a 60 percent clearance rate.
Burglaries and thefts were also reduced from the previous fiscal year. Burglaries were reduced by 20 percent (from 30 to 24 cases) and thefts were reduced by 12 percent (from 115 to 101 cases). These reductions can be attributed to improved investigations and public education, such as home security checks.
Traffic enforcement was a focal point in the Hāmākua District and resulted in a 46 percent decrease in traffic collisions from 119 the previous fiscal year to 64 this year. The reduction in traffic collisions can be directly related to the intensive enforcement efforts that led to 30 percent increases in total citations issuedfrom 1,871 to 2,427. Speeding citations increased by 143 percent (from 380 to 925) and seat belt citations increased by 321 percent (from 34 to 143). In addition, speed monitor displays were placed throughout the district to educate motorists about speed limit changes on our roadways. This, combined with selective radar/laser enforcement has increased motorist awareness, helped to slow down drivers and encouraged safer driving practices throughout the district.
The Waipi‘o Education and Information Officer Program, known as the “Waipi‘o Ranger,” was initiated in August 2007 and continues to operate with positive results. Two information officers provide a primary point of contact for visitors and residents at the Waipi‘o Lookout. They call Hāmākua Police for assistance when needed and report any suspicious activity. The presence of the information officers has served to educate visitors about the natural and cultural resources and history of the valley, remind them of protocol and behaviors expected in the valley, conduct surveys and keep statistical information on the number of visitors and vehicles going into the valley, report illegal or suspicious activity and provide a crime deterrence through constant daytime presence.
The Hāmākua District is bordered by the North Hilo District at Ka‘ala Gulch and the South Kohala District at Lakeland. Its police station is located at 45-3400 Mamane Street in Honoka‘a.
Commander: Capt. Randy Apele
Area: 144 square miles/Authorized sworn positions: 12
Community Police Officers from the North Hilo and the Hāmākua Districts and the Honoka‘a School Resource Officer coordinated four Celebrating Families Drug Free events during the summer of 2008. Events included gatherings in Pepe‘ekeo, Laupāhoehoe Swimming Pool, Pa‘auilo Park and Honoka‘a Park and consisted of games and activities for families, drug-free poster contests and family dinners. Each event attracted between 50 and 100 participants. This was also the first year of a combined school event with Kalaniana‘ole, Laupāhoehoe and Honoka‘a Schools. This middle school Drug Free Bash was held at Laupāhoehoe Point Park in December 2008 for about 300 6th8th graders who participated in team-building games and activities.
In Fiscal Year 20082009, the North Hilo District saw a 62 percent increase in reported burglaries and cleared three out of 18 reported cases, resulting in a 17 percent burglary clearance rate. Theft cases were up 95 percent. However, the district cleared 49 percent (19 of the 39 reported thefts). The large increase in thefts was due in part to thefts at construction sites. The Community Police Officer conducted increased public education at community meetings to raise awareness about theft prevention. Improved preliminary investigations contributed to the high theft clearance rate.
The North Hilo District experienced a 372 percent decrease in major traffic accidents during the fiscal year. The district had 42 major accidents compared with 156 major traffic accidents during the previous fiscal year. This large decrease was due, in part, to improved road conditions. As a result of a combined effort with North Hilo Community Policing and the State Highways Division, the upper and lower sections of Laupāhoehoe Gulch roadway were textured to provide better traction during inclement weather.
Credit also goes to patrol officers for their marked improvement in speed enforcement. Traffic citations increased by 67 percent, including a 105 percent increase in speeding citations over the previous fiscal year, from 343 to 708. Seat belt citations increased from 19 to 90 citations.
Improvements were made at Laupāhoehoe Point Park to discourage excessive noise and liquor violations and other illegal activity in the area. The cooperation of the Laupāhoehoe Community Police Officer and the Department of Parks and Recreation led to the installation of security lights shining into the pavilions and parking lot area of the Park. This has greatly increased security in the area without disturbing the natural shoreline environment.
The Hāmākua District at Ka‘ala Gulch and the South Hilo District at Hakalau Gulch form the boundaries of the North Hilo District. Its police station is located on Pu‘ualaea Homestead Road, just west of the 25-mile marker off Old Māmalahoa Highway.
Commander: Captain Kenneth Vieira
Area: 635 square miles/Authorized sworn positions: 82
The South Hilo Patrol station doubles as the central police station for the entire Police Department. In the South Hilo District, patrol and Community Police Officers also operate out of mini-stations located at Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal, Clem Akina Park, Holomua Street, Waiākea-Uka Gym and Richardson Ocean Park.
The East Hawai‘i Detention Center located off the Hualālai Street entrance has been housing pre-arraignment detainees since 2003. The Detention Center has 18 individual cells, one observation cell, one padded cell and two temporary holding cells. Two of the 18 individual cells are equipped to accommodate the disabled.
During Fiscal Year 20082009, the Hawai‘i Police Department, in partnership with the State Department of Public Safety, continued to collaborate on a program initiated during Fiscal Year 20082009 to reduce the large backlog of outstanding bench warrants and other court documents. The program used South Hilo Patrol personnel and sheriffs from the Department of Public Safety to create a bench warrant service team. This program, along with the efforts of other South Hilo Patrol personnel, contributed to a large number of court documents being served. Police served 4,734 court documents including 1,442 warrants of arrest. These figures are significant, as South Hilo district personnel served 1,238 more court documents during the fiscal year than were received from the courts. In addition to effectively reducing the backlog of unserved court documents, this program broadened the working relationship between the two participating agencies. The bench warrant service team continues to be a tremendous success.
Also during this fiscal year, the number of major traffic accidents in South Hilo decreased by 142 accidents or 20 percent. This decrease follows a 21 percent reduction realized during the previous year. The district’s officers contributed to this decline using focused enforcement of traffic offenses along with aggressive efforts to apprehend drunk drivers. South Hilo Patrol officers issued 15,044 traffic citations11 percent more than the previous fiscal year. They also arrested 194 drunk drivers, thus contributing to the decline in major traffic accidents and enhanced traffic safety.
The Aggressive Driving enforcement program also played a role in the sharp decline in major traffic accidents. This programfunded through discretionary monies provided by council members J Yoshimoto and Dennis Onishitargeted specific traffic infractions designated as aggressive driving behavior. The program, which was conducted during April, May and June 2009, involved officers using both marked and unmarked police vehicles to conduct enforcement along the major traffic corridor linking the districts of South Hilo and Puna. Additionally, officers focused enforcement efforts within the city of Hilo and its major traffic corridor. These efforts contributed to a reduction in the number of traffic mishaps on the major thoroughfares in the city of Hilo.
The communities in the South Hilo District experienced a minor increase in the number of thefts and related crimes. Reported thefts increased by 1 percent, while reported
burglaries increased by 6 percent. However, the Police Department cleared 51 percent of all theft cases in the South Hilo District. That success was attributed, in part, to a program to improve the overall investigative quality and documentation for the theft and burglary cases South Hilo personnel conducted. This program, along with coordinated efforts between the South Hilo Patrol Division and Criminal Investigations Division, resulted in this outstanding clearance rate, as well as many other investigative successes.
Officers of South Hilo Patrol are committed to the department’s core values and mission and vision statements. Their dedication during routine investigations often culminates in the apprehension of responsible individuals and the prevention of future crimes, as the four examples below illustrate.
The South Hilo District occupies the area between the North Hilo District at Hakalau and the Puna District at Pāpa‘i. Its police station is located at 349 Kapi‘olani Street.
Commander: Capt. Steven Guillermo
Area: 683 square miles/Authorized sworn positions: 53
Due to the spiraling economy, the Puna District experienced a downturn in the building boom it had experienced over the previous several years.
The economic situation in Fiscal Year 20082009 contributed to the increase in burglaries, which saw a 26 percent increase from 423 in 20072008 to 544 in 20082009. Police solved 19 percent of the reported burglaries.
Many of the burglarized homes were vacation rentals or vacant homes either pending sale or awaiting completion that had appliances removed.
The district saw dramatic decreases in reported thefts from 1,399 in 20072008 to 866 in 20082009, a reduction of nearly 30 percent. Auto thefts decreased from 152 to 89, a reduction of 41 percent. Police cleared 32 percent of all thefts reported in Puna during this fiscal period.
With the increase in arrests of impaired drivers and the issuance of citations for speeding and other moving violations, Puna had a decrease in major reported accidents, from 373 in 20072008 to 303 in 20082009.
Working under the Weed and Seed Project, Community Police Officers continued working closely with the business community, school officials and other community groups to improve Pāhoa Village. They have added bike patrols to Pāhoa Village, Pohoiki, Kapoho, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Kea‘au Village and Volcano Village. The Police Department continues to receive very positive feedback from the community about its bike patrols. Puna police officers and members of other Hawai‘i County agencies continued to monitor the lava flow in Kalapana that began in March 2008 and continues to attract about 1,000 visitors to the site each day.
The fiscal year included the selection of Officer Joseph Passmore as Officer of the Year for 2008 by the East Hawai‘i Aloha Exchange Club on March 12, 2009, at the Hilo Yacht Club. He was recognized for his proactive crime reduction techniquehe volunteered to work one of the busier beats in the district that had been experiencing a large increase in burglaries. During the early morning hours of November 2008, he made a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by a suspected burglar. This traffic stop eventually led to the execution of a search warrant, which led to the recovery of drugs and stolen items. This enabled detectives to identify other individuals involved in the burglary/theft ring and to recover other stolen items. Officer Passmore was recognized for his selflessness and dedication to duty that contributed greatly to the Police Department’s mission statement of making Hawai‘i Island a safer place to live.
The Puna District is situated between the South Hilo District at Pāpa‘i and the Ka’u District at Keauhou Landing. Its police station is located in Kea‘au at 16-200 Pilimua Street.