Police union pleas for policy change - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Police union pleas for policy change

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Honolulu Police union officers are in an uproar, calling for action by administrators to correct what they call an unfair internal checks and balances system.

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers or "SHOPO" represents more than 90% of Honolulu's force.

It hopes the powers that be hear its plea.

If you get pulled over by a police officer and if you a get a ticket, you have the option of seeing a judge to determine your guilt. But when its the other way around and there's an allegation against an officer, that's when SHOPO says things aren't as fair.

Among the interviews and infants, nearly 600 of Honolulu's finest take a stand. SHOPO feels morale is sinking and well-being is at risk.

"One of the key models for us are respect, integrity and fairness, where's the fairness?," said an Officer.

An experienced beat cop spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, fearful for retaliation by police administration. He says if there's a citizen complaint against an officer, immediate action is taken against them without proof.

"They're basically saying that the officer is already guilty. So what we're going to do is have him go on the desk, have him wear an aloha shirt, have him wear pants and have him wait and sit out and not do the job he's supposed to be doing," said the officer.

About 50 officers are off-duty because of current investigations. That's the highest number in the last five years. From 2 weeks up to 2 years, officers are taken off street duty and stripped of overtime opportunities, taking a huge income hit. The union says no gun and no badge is a big problem.

"Re-evaluate that policy, don't abolish it. We don't want it gone because it serves a good purpose but just utilize it properly," said an Officer.

SHOPO says there isn't a perfect solution, what it's hoping for is compromise.

"A continued genuine effort to work together for once for one sole purpose, to take care of these officers who put their lives on the line day in and day out," said Union President Tenari Maafala.

The Hawaii Labor Review Board will hold a preliminary hearing about the complaints in a few weeks.

It can either decide that the rules aren't fair or say that the current procedure doesn't violate the union contract.

Powered by Frankly