State investigates after correctional officer brings gun to career fair

State investigates after correctional officer brings gun to career fair

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Public Safety Department is investigating whether a correctional officer broke its firearms policy by bringing a gun to a Waipahu High career fair.

A photo of the Oahu Community Correctional Center sergeant wearing the holstered handgun was taken at the school's Law and Justice Academy career fair in December.

When asked, public safety officials would not say if their officers are allowed to carry guns while off-duty or outside the jail.

The state Department of Education says no one complained to the school's administration about the firearm, but State Sen. Will Espero says someone concerned about the gun in school emailed him.

He says he's concerned as well.

"They're not law enforcement officers, so they could be mistaken as law enforcement officers. And if something were to happen, or they were called to act, the question is how would they respond," he said. "Not saying they would respond improperly, but certainly they're not trained to be having these guns every day, especially within the public domain."

Espero said he also asked the Public Safety Department about its firearms protocol, but was also told the matter is under investigation.

A spokeswoman for the department says once identified, the officer will be questioned about the photograph.

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