HONOLULU (KHNL) - Tensions are high at the Honolulu Police Department. Authorities say as many as 60 officers may be investigated following a federal probe into illegal gambling on Oahu's North Shore.
Three officers already have been indicted for allegedly providing a Waialua gambling ring a heads-up on police raids. A fourth officer is charged with a firearms offense. A fifth is accused of having a gaff, used in cockfights, in his possession.
Now, more officers may be questioned.
When a bomb drops, debris flies everywhere. Last week, authorities dropped a bombshell, announcing indictments against five Honolulu police officers after a federal probe into illegal gambling.
"During the course of the investigation, officers who were not indicted were heard on the wiretap," Capt. Frank Fujii, Honolulu Police Department, said. "Other officers' names may have been mentioned."
H.P.D. says its Internal Affairs Division will investigate whether those other officers disobeyed department policies or procedures.
"Through the course of the administrative investigation, however, if we find that criminal violations or, were violated, we will be turning over those investigations to the appropriate investigative body," Fujii said.
H.P.D. is waiting for federal investigators to turn over the names of officers who came up during the wiretaps. Fujii says the Internal Affairs Division could call in several dozen officers for questioning.
"It could go as high as 60," he said. "But, you know, that's not an absolute figure."
If I.A. determines an officer violated department procedures, he or she could face a verbal or written reprimand, suspension, or termination.
"This is not a witch hunt," Fujii said. "The public deserves the fact that our department be free of corruption."
H.P.D. says it is premature to assume any of the additional officers violated policies or procedures.
The Internal Affairs Division has a total of 12 detectives who would focus on the massive project. The department says other officers will be moved to I.A., on special assignment, to handle the regular duties.