3-06-24 Police Receive Donation of Certified Agricultural Produce Scales to Combat Ag Theft

Hawai‘i Police Department
Hilo Community Policing Section
Community Policing Lieutenant William Derr
Phone: (808) 961-8849

Media Release

Hawai‘i Police Department’s (HPD) Community Policing Section extends a heartfelt mahalo to Hawai‘i County Councilwomen Heather Kimball, Cynthia Evans, and Michelle Galimba for their generous donation of three certified agricultural produce scales to help officers combat agricultural theft.

Each portable scale can weigh more than 500 pounds of produce and print out a receipt showing the total poundage. The three scales, valued at $1,500 each, will be kept at the Hilo, Kona, and South Kohala police stations for use by police investigating agricultural thefts.

“It’s a really great tool that helps both police and prosecutors,” said Lieutenant William Derr of HPD’s Hilo Community Policing Section.

“We can take the scale to remote parts of the island or farmers markets, weigh the produce on the spot, and return it to its rightful owner.”

The collaborative effort to procure the scales was spearheaded by retired Hawai‘i County Prosecutor and community advocate Charlene Iboshi, along with the County of Hawai‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, and the County Office of Research and Development. Council members used their discretionary funds to pay for the equipment.

The scales, which the police department received at the end of February, were quickly put to use and already instrumental in prosecuting a case.

“The day after we received the scale at the Hilo station, we received a call from officers in the Hāmākua district requesting to use it in an agricultural theft case involving more than 100 pounds of bananas,” said Derr.

Additionally, HPD recently collaborated with the Office of Research and Development on a new, online, and fillable self-reporting form regarding agricultural theft. The form is available on the County’s website, https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/Home/Components/News/News/3557/, and simplifies the reporting process for victims, police officers, and prosecutors.

Hawai‘i Police Department is committed to working diligently on addressing agricultural theft, a frequently underreported, yet devastating crime that impacts our island’s farmers and ranchers.

“With the certified scales the prosecution of offenders can now be carried out more successfully, thanks to the council members’ gracious contributions,” said Derr. “We are optimistic about our ongoing collaboration with Hawai‘i County Council members and fellow county departments as we continue to develop additional innovative solutions to combat this type of crime.”

Pictured left to right: HPD Lieutenant William Derr, Glenn Sako, County Office of Research and Development, Charlene Iboshi, Councilwoman Heather Kimball District 1, Councilwoman Michelle Galimba District 6, Councilwoman Cindy Evans District 9, Shane Muramaru, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

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