Sheriff's Deputies stripped of enforcement powers over jaywalkin - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Sheriff's Deputies stripped of enforcement powers over jaywalking

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Jaywalking is apparently low on the priority list and it's started a bit of a controversy within the Sheriff's Division.

On Tuesday, a memo was sent out by the Sheriff Shawn Tsuha alerting all 290 deputies they had been stripped of their traffic enforcement powers effective immediately.  Previously the deputies had done jaywalking stings and cited various people. Some state officials have said a few high ranking people got tickets and that sparked the stand down.

"It looks like there definitely was some over reactions and some individuals acting just based on unhappiness," said State Senator Will Espero, (D) Public Safety, Government Operations and Military Affairs Committee Chair.

"The stand down is sort of a big misunderstanding, what we're saying is don't go out of your way, stop going out of your way to look for jaywalkers, stop going out of the airport complex to look for traffic violations," said Ted Sakai, Department of Public Safety Interim Director.

Sakai denies the claim that state officials got angry over getting tickets and says no one contacted him.

He does however admit the memo on the traffic enforcement stand down was poorly written.  He plans to send out a clarification tomorrow and says deputies can still ticket if they see a traffic violation but their priority should be protecting the courthouses, capitol and airports.

"They shouldn't go out of their way, for example outside of the airport complex to enforce traffic laws because when they do that they are taking sheriffs away from the core area, which is the airport. If one sheriff is away for a traffic patrol say on the Pali Highway, that means we don't have that sheriff at the airport and that's our focus," said Sakai.

He also says no one is above the law jaywalking or otherwise.

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