Patrol officers to work 12-hour shifts to cover calls during APEC week

Tenari Maafala, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers
Tenari Maafala, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just about every available officer will be on APEC duty next week, or covering for someone who is. The meetings are forcing the Honolulu Police Department to shuffle schedules and go into overtime to make sure "regular" calls for service are also covered.

Violent attacks, property crimes, traffic incidents and everything in between -- the public relies on Honolulu police to respond efficiently when needed.

But with a majority of officers being assigned to APEC-related duties next week, HPD is having to expand work schedules and make other personnel adjustments in order to cover the regular calls for service.

"Services will definitely continue," Tenari Maafala, State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said. "With all due respect to our visiting leaders, our people here in Hawaii is first and foremost."

A police spokesperson says, "HPD will not discuss the means, methods, specific resources, or numbers we utilize to carry out our protective responsibilities."

But SHOPO, which represents about 1,900 officers on Oahu, says just about everyone in the department has been affected one way or another. Many patrol officers will have to work 12-hour shifts next week, and those who normally have holidays off will get special pay for working Veteran's Day next Friday.

"Criminal Investigations Division, which is primarily detectives work, they, too, have been adjusted," Maafala said. "Their time schedules, their assignments to some extent has been adjusted to fill in with APEC assignments."

SHOPO says the department has rehearsed various response strategies if a major incident unrelated to APEC occurs.

"We've looked at worst-case scenario and prepare and adjust accordingly," Maafala said. "So, yeah, we're prepared. We're ready to go. God forbid anything happens. The mantra has been prepare for the worst and hope for the best."

With the help of their state and federal partners, as well as the National Guard, police say, "our goal is to implement, with the numerous participating agencies, a security plan that will create a safe and secure environment for event participants and the general public, and maintain service to our community."

"It's like we practiced for 13 to 14 months to prepare for the big game," Maafala said. "It's a great opportunity for all of us."

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