HPD chief: 'It will take years to fill gaps in police staffing'

Published: Apr. 23, 2018 at 10:58 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 24, 2018 at 10:55 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu's police chief says staffing shortages means property crimes will have to wait while her department investigates more serious, violent crimes.

Chief Susan Ballard says her department is short 257 officers and it will take years to fill those gaps.

A condensed recruitment process and academy will help.

Ballard says that the departments is also looking to add lateral transfers so police officers from the mainland can get credit for their service with an abbreviated academy.  She says if they already have experience, they shouldn't be forced to go through the entire year long training process, they just need to learn Hawaii laws.

Meanwhile, victims of some non-violent, less serious crimes are getting a letter from HPD saying the department doesn't have the resources to pursue without new information.

"The property crimes, you know, we're still going to do some of the investigations if we have the leads," Ballard said. "But if we don't have the leads, and we don't have the staffing to chase after the leads, then we just don't have the personnel."

Ballard says overtime is filling the gaps when needed but she hopes to be at full staff in a few years.

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