Mayor: New HPD arrest protocol aimed at cracking down on ‘bad actors’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is outlining a new policy aimed at cracking down on repeat, low-level criminals on Oahu.
Under the new protocol, repeat, low-level offenders will be held overnight by police on weekdays and appear in court the next morning.
Previously, they would typically be released after promising to return for their court date.
Blangiardi made the announcement Monday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight show, saying the decision came after a “historic” meeting with prosecutors, Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan, the courts and business leaders.
“We got some bad actors out there with lots of priors who’ve been getting their wrist slapped, coming back out on the street to become a detriment to society and we’ve noticed especially in a couple key pronounced areas,” Blangiardi said.
He says the new effort is aimed at helping reduce crime in areas such as Waikiki and Chinatown.
“This is going to go a long way in helping us deal with the criminal element that hides in that homeless population but is not really homeless at all,” he said.
Prosecutor Steve Alm told the Star-Advertiser that suspects with mental health issues are their biggest problem.
Alm says prosecutors want to be able to do research in the morning and argue in court that a certain suspect should be sent to the State Hospital for an evaluation.
He says when those suspects are released on their own recognizance, prosecutors do not have a chance to make that argument.
Some are skeptical about how effective the new policy will be, however. The ACLU says it’s concerned that this policy will worsen overcrowding at jails.
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.