Once-a-decade charter panel considers more powers for police com - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Once-a-decade charter panel considers more powers for police commission

Image: Hawaii News Now Image: Hawaii News Now
Image: Hawaii News Now Image: Hawaii News Now
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

There's a chance that Oahu voters could give the Honolulu Police Commission more powers, and also could allow a police chief to be suspended for cause.

The Honolulu Police Commission has the task of investigating officer misconduct, which included some high-profile cases last year.

That includes the case of Sgt. Darren Cachola, who was caught on surveillance video fighting with his girlfriend, and former officer Vince Morre, who is now serving jail time for an attack on patrons in a game room.

The Honolulu Charter Commission is now looking at a proposal that would give the police commission more power, including "the power to subpoena and require the production of evidence pertinent" to an investigation. The commission is formed every ten years to consider possible changes to the city charter.

The police commission could also "make recommendations regarding officer misconduct to the Chief of Police, and the Chief must respond to the Police Commission with his or her decision on the recommendation in writing," the proposal states. Currently, the police department can ignore police commission findings in those matters.

The police commission currently has the power to hire and fire the police chief, Another proposal would allow the commission to suspend the chief for cause, something that isn't possible now. 

Current Police Chief Louis Kealoha is the target of a federal criminal probe on whether he and his wife conspired to frame her uncle in the theft of a mailbox from their home. Police commission chair Ron Taketa has said it is "unclear" whether a police chief could be placed on paid leave during an investigation.

The charter commission did not take any action on the proposals at their meeting Friday, but commission chair David Rae said they are still up for discussion at a future meeting yet to be determined.

If the charter commission approves the proposed changes, they will appear on the November ballot on Oahu.

Copyright 2016 HawaiiNewsNow.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly