EXCLUSIVE: 2 workplace violence complaints at HPD academy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

EXCLUSIVE: 2 workplace violence complaints at HPD's training academy

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WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Honolulu Police Department has begun internal affairs investigations into two reported workplace violence incidents involving officers who train recruits and fellow officers at HPD's training academy.

The police training academy in Waipahu is where new recruits are trained and about 1,900 officers undergo annual re-training in everything from firearms and hazardous materials to sexual harassment and CPR. 

Sources said the most recent alleged incident of workplace violence happened in September at the indoor firing range at the academy. 

That's where witnesses reported two firearms trainers got into an argument and one officer hit another in the chest in front of about a half-dozen witnesses. 

The officer accused of hitting the other has since retired from the force, a source said. 

A second reported incident happened this past summer when witnesses said a training lieutenant -- the third highest ranking officer at the facility -- got into a dispute with another training officer and the lieutenant grabbed the officer by his throat. 

The police department confirmed there are separate internal affairs investigations in both cases and released a one-sentence statement.   

"The HPD takes the safety of the workplace seriously, and all allegations of workplace violence are investigated to ensure proper action is taken," said HPD Capt. Andy Lum. 

Sources said some staff have complained that management didn't take quick action, such as the standard procedure of separating the officers who've had workplace disputes in hopes of preventing them from happening again. 

HPD's statement did not address Hawaii News Now's questions about concerns that the people who are supposed to train officers are getting in fights at work.  

But an HPD management source claimed the workplace violence reports may be "exaggerated." 

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