Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023 |
Share this story
To Liz Randol, in response to your column: I found your article very interesting and am glad that there is concern from someone other than just people connected to law enforcement about the problems that are being faced by the members of our police department.
You obtained a lot of very useful information to relay to the public, from whatever or whomever the source.
However, it also appears that some of your information was either misquoted by you or more importantly, I hope, just misunderstood. Whatever the case, at least some information is correct, especially pertaining to drugs, police being underpaid, parent involvement, and partnerships between the communities and police.
I presume that you are probably a relatively new resident of the island and may not be familiar with my background of being a retired police officer. I retired after serving more than 25 dedicated and proud years with the Kaua’i Police Department. I worked the majority of my career within the patrol services and investigative bureaus.
I worked on the streets back in the days when there were only two or three police officers to cover the whole island, from Koke’e to Haena. These were also the days when local bars were very prevalent, drugs were first being brought onto the island and the hippie movement was in full swing.
I also served for several years with the police union representing police officers. So, as you can see, I am very familiar with what the officers today are facing when you talk about problems. However, through all of the trials and tribulations that we faced back then, one thing I am sure of, despite the problems, the police officers were always together and performed as one.
What I am responding to, and need to clarify, are your statements about the staffing problems that exist in the various districts: Waimea, Lihu’e, and Hanalei, in which I believe you are speaking about the patrol division.
You wrote some very strong allegations that the staffing of these districts is lopsided and favors one district over another because the west side has several council members and so-called very powerful police commissioner living in its district. Following are three critical points that should clarify the above suppositions:
COPY EDIT NOTE: is first sentence way he wrote it? It doesn’t seem to make sense. PJ
First, I’d like to thank you for trying to give me such an honor of being so powerful, but I can assure you, being a member of the Police Commission has nothing to do with power. I am a member of a group of people who volunteer their time to this island and its communities to try and make a difference while being a liaison to the Police Department.
Second, neither our County Council nor the Police Commission has anything to do with staffing of the three stations on this island. This is strictly an administrative decision, and for your information, this format has been in existence for probably ten years or more.
Furthermore, your source of information probably overlooked the fact that the Waimea district comprises nearly half the total land mass of the island of Kaua’i.
Granted, this area does not have the same population as other communities on the island but as the result of widespread distances between communities, it was seen fit at the time of its creation, that to sufficiently and safely service the public four of the ten “sectors” that this island is divided into, were assigned to the Waimea substation. The manpower distribution was broken down as such:
* Waimea – 24 patrolmen, three sergeants and one lieutenant to cover four sectors.
* Lihu’e and Hanalei – 21 patrolmen, three sergeants and one lieutenant to cover three sectors.
As you can see, it takes approximately seven men to cover one sector, and based on this, the Waimea district is actually short four men.
Third, I believe your comments, which I interpret to mean that there is a lack of working together within our police department, places that fault for staffing problems on myself, council members and a “powerful” group of men who live on the west side, which, also for your information if you consider would Omao being the westside, would mean one council person. This I feel is very unfair, and information asked to be printed in a public forum should be confirmed for clarity and truthfulness first. Hopefully, the above three clarifying points allow you to see how absolutely inaccurate your reports on “lopsided” and “favored” staffing are.
In closing, overall, I am glad that you have shown concern for some of the problems that our police department are presently encountering, most of which can probably be remedied if the department was up to its full authorized strength, that of course being a separate issue.
However, if you believe that there is a problem with our police department, please feel free to contact our Police Commission, as we are there to serve the public and would be more than happy to address your concern(s).
NORMAN HOLT Sr., Kaua’i Police Commissioner, Kapahi
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.