Cops who drank on duty won't face criminal charges, but could still be disciplined

Cops who drank on duty won't face criminal charges, but could still be disciplined

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Six Honolulu police officers who got paid overtime to go drinking won't face criminal charges, but may still be disciplined by the Honolulu Police Department, an HPD spokeswoman said.

The six officers were being paid overtime to work on an underage drinking enforcement team when the incident happened in May, sources said.

After completing six hours of work, they were accused of drinking and eating for two more hours at Side Street Inn's Kakaako location off Pensacola Street, and all the while being paid overtime.

The City Prosecutor's office has declined to take the cases, saying they would be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, according to a spokesman for City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.

Sources said the prosecutor's office could find no indication that the officers intended to take overtime. They believed the lieutenant was going to adjust their pay appropriately, sources said.

And while it may be against HPD regulations to drink on the job, it is not against the law.

HPD Lt. Randall Arakaki, a 28-year HPD veteran, was in charge of the enforcement team.

His underlings, including a sergeant and four other officers, have said he approved the OT for the drinking escapade, sources said.

All six officers had their police powers temporarily removed in May, when police opened in internal investigation.

The police department said the four rank-and-file officers and the sergeant have had their guns and badges returned, police powers restored and have returned to full duty.

But Arakaki still has his police powers removed while HPD finishes an internal investigation that could end in discipline, such as a temporary demotion or suspension for a few days.

Sources said it's unlikely any of the officers will be fired for this offense. While it's embarrassing to the department, the case resulted in each officer receiving a few hours of extra pay, a relatively small amount of money.

An HPD spokeswoman said an internal administrative investigation remains open and all six of the officers involved could face some kind of discipline, depending on the outcome of that probe.

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