Hawai‘i County Police Department

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Hawaii Police Patches

The Hawai'i County Police Department provides law enforcement for the island of Hawai'i known locally as the "Big Island". As of 2011, they protect 4,028.02 square miles (10,433 km2) of extremely varied terrain in addition to the lives of 185,079 residents and thousands of visitors (based on statistics from the 2010 Census).[1]

Operation Bureaus[edit]

The Hawai'i County's current chief of police is Harry S. Kubojiri.[2] The investigative and patrol operations on the island are separated into two Areas: Area I, on the east side of Hawaiʻi County, which includes the districts of Hāmakua, North Hilo, South Hilo, and Puna, covering a total of 1,685 square miles (4,360 km2), and Area II on the west side, which districts include North Kohala, South Kohala, North Kona, South Kona, and Ka'ū, covering a total of 2,345 square miles (6,070 km2). Each district in Hawaiʻi County, is headed by a police captain, and each area by its own commander.

Professional statements[3][edit]

Mission Statement[edit]

Hawaii Badge

The employees of the Hawaiʻi Police Department are committed to preserving the Spirit of Aloha. We will work cooperatively with the community to enforce the laws, preserve peace, and provide a safe environment.

Vision Statement[edit]

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police service and forming partnerships with the community to achieve public satisfaction making the Big Island a safe place to live, visit, and conduct business.

Core values[edit]

  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Compassion
  • Teamwork
  • Community Satisfaction

Recruitment[4][edit]

To qualify for the police department, the applicant must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen (either born or naturalized), national or permanent resident alien of the United States, or eligible under federal law for unrestricted employment in the United States.
  • Have a valid driver's license from Hawaiʻi or comparable license from another state.
  • Have a combination of education and experience substantially equivalent to graduation from high school.
  • Be qualified to carry and possess any firearm or ammunition in accordance with state and federal laws. Persons convicted of domestic violence, whether convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, will not be considered for a position because federal law prohibits them from carrying firearms.

An applicant must have:

  • Good eyesight. Candidates for employment must have 20/20 binocular vision with or without correction. Those who wear soft contact lenses must have at least 20/200 vision before correction, corrected to 20/20, and those wearing hard contact lenses or glasses must have 20/40 binocular vision before correction to 20/20.
  • Good physical condition and agility according to standards set by the County’s Pre-Entry Medical Examination Guide.

Benefits[5][edit]

As public servants, the salaries of the sworn officers are considered public information. The starting salary for Police Officer I is $4,270 a month, or $51,240 a year. Officers receive night differential pay and time and a half for holiday work and overtime.

Fringe benefits include:

  • Holidays — 13 paid days a year, plus all election days except the primary election.
  • Vacation — 21 working days a year. The unused portion may be accumulated up to 90 days.
  • Sick leave — 21 working days a year. The unused portion may also be accumulated toward retirement.
  • Military leave — full pay for up to 15 working days a year for active duty or annual training.
  • Funeral leave — three working days with pay for death of qualified family member.
  • Accidental injury leave — upon choice of plan, full pay up to 120 working days for each work-related injury.
  • Health insurance — self or family medical, drug, vision and adult dental insurance partly subsidized by the County of Hawaiʻi.
  • Life insurance — fully subsidized group life insurance for $26,000. Coverage varies with the age of the employee.
  • Uniforms and equipment — furnished by the Hawaiʻi Police Department.
  • Automobile subsidy — monthly allowance for private automobiles in police use, plus fuel and oil and tax-exempt motor vehicle registration if position requires the use of a vehicle.
  • Retirement — eligible for retirement with 25 years of police service in Hawaiʻi.

Police car issue[edit]

Subsidized Honolulu Police car

As with the Honolulu Police Department, Hawaiʻi County Police has a fleet of marked police cars as well as subsidized police cars, meaning they allow officers to use their personally owned vehicles as police cars.[6] Most of these cars are made distinguishable as on duty police vehicles, by the addition of a removable unique blue dome light placed on top of the vehicle. This has prompted controversy within the local community as many residents and police officers would prefer to have dedicated and fully marked fleet of police vehicles. However, the County believes this would be a cost prohibitive expense to take on all at one time and believes it would be financially prudent to continue subsidizing the police officers with a stipend to pay for a police vehicle. Many police officers view this as an additional incentive or benefit of the job. In a recent effort to promote higher visibility, the department increased the stipend by an additional $50/month if the vehicle the officer uses in their daily police use is white in color. Police departments on the islands of Kauai & Maui who also at one time had a similar program for subsidizing police vehicles have stopped using the subsidized program and their fleets are now fully marked.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Resources[edit]