HPD changes motorcade procedures following fatal accident

HPD changes motorcade procedures following fatal accident

MILILANI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Police practiced motorcade training in the same area where an officer was killed last July. The Honolulu Police Department has reviewed its training procedure since the accident.  It's not revealing too many details but residents seem to think the officers aren't speeding as fast.

This is video from today's motorcade in Mililani.  The officers were going down Lanikuhana Avenue at Kamehameha Highway stopping traffic in all directions while the motorcade went through the intersection.

"I was at the stop light and then three lanes of cars and all the sudden the motorcycle cops wiz by. A couple of them stopped right in front of my intersection," said Andy Mertz, who saw the motorcade training twice today in Mililani.

There were 21 motorcycle officers.  One officer did slip his bike on some gravel today but he wasn't hurt and did not require any medical attention.

We followed behind the motorcade for awhile.  They were going about 35 miles per hour, however the motorcycles did have to speed ahead to get to the next intersection.  Overall people who saw previous trainings say the officers seemed to be going slower.

"To me to protect the President I think it's the right thing to do," said Mertz. "As they came across Kamehameha Highway the motorcycles were bouncing quite a bit and I could see how that could be dangerous for the police officer. But on the other hand they're training so they learn how to handle it when it happens in the real world."

Today's training went right past the spot where Officer Chad Morimoto died last summer.  He was practicing the same exercises when he lost control and was killed near Mililani District Park.

After that accident some lawmakers wanted, but didn't get, a ban on motorcade training in residential areas.  The Police Department explained they must train in realistic areas to be prepared for anywhere the President may go.  Mom's at the park say they understand.

"I don't mind that training here. They have to be here so they should," said Yoko Patsel, Mililani.

"I don't really feel unsafe that they're doing the training right here on the street. It would be nice if they let us know in advance so we might not let the kids play at the park during that time," said Chiho Eckert, Mililani.

This training ended with smiles and handshakes, which was certainly the preferred way to wrap up the day.

The officers train whenever new people are assigned to the unit which can be about four times a year.

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