One Big Island Police Officer Fired in 2012
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by Dave Smith
A Big Island police officer was fired in 2012 for committing a criminal act, according to the Hawaii Police Department’s latest report to the state Legislature.
That was four fewer than the number of terminations the year before. There were none in 2010.
The annual reports of all disciplinary actions taken against police officers resulting in suspensions or terminations are required under state law from each of Hawaii’s counties. They must be submitted at least 20 days prior to the convening of the regular session.
The reports include a summary of each incident of misconduct. Under the law, the identities of the officers involved are not disclosed.
The 2012 report from the Hawaii Police Department contains 25 instances in which discipline was meted out, although any individual officer could be involved in more than one incident.
That was 18 fewer cases than in 2011 and 10 fewer than in 2010.
The degree of the misconduct apparently varied, as another disciplinary action in 2012 that involved an officer committing a crime resulted in the officer being suspended from duty for 15 days.
The rest of the disciplinary actions ranged from officers being suspended for a single day to four 10-day suspensions.
Nearly half of the total disciplinary actions involved one-day suspensions from duty.
“Failure to follow report-writing procedures” resulted in suspensions ranging from one to 10 days.
Other reasons given for 10-day suspensions included insubordination to a superior officer, falsification of a police report and bringing disrepute to the department, which was listed as a violation of standards of conduct.
One six-day suspension was handed out because the “officer failed to take appropriate action,” the report said.
Failing to report a criminal violation and failing to recover an item of evidence each resulted in two-day suspensions.
In 2011, there were 43 disciplinary actions taken which included the firing of five officers. Reasons for the terminations included committing of a criminal act, insubordination toward a superior officer, lying about attending training, failure to follow report-writing procedures and bringing disrepute to the department.
That year’s report contained five 10-day suspensions for actions that included failing to attend training, unauthorized documentation of information and three instances of failing to report for duty.
There were no terminations in the 35 instances of discipline listed in the 2010 report.
The most severe disciplinary action taken that year was a 20-day suspension for failing to complete an investigation. There was also a 10-day suspension for the use of excessive force and a six-day suspension because an officer failed to maintain communication with the department’s dispatch.
There were also six five-day suspensions in 2010 for actions that included false information in a police report, and disrespect toward a superior officer.