On the beat: Resources the biggest difference between Honolulu, Kaua‘i departments

Q: You’ve been with the Kaua‘i Police Department for about six months now. I’m curious to know what, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between KPD and the Honolulu Police Department, besides crime?

• Frank, Koloa

A: Well, Frank, there is a huge difference — not so much in work ethics and integrity, because we certainly have wonderful and very hard working employees who wear many hats.

The major difference is in available resources. It’s like night and day. HPD is over 10 times larger than KPD because of the population on O‘ahu and its crime rate. They have an annual budget of over $200 million.

HPD has its own human resources division, its own finance division, supply room, motor pool with gas pumps, helicopters, training academy, building manager, legal advisor, labor relation specialists, informational technology division, public information officer and spokesperson, community affairs section, screening and intake deputy prosecutor, psychologists, and even its own museum.

The chief, two deputies and seven assistant chiefs each have their own secretaries, and each element commander has their own secretary and clerical staff.

The list goes on and on. I’m certainly not complaining, and I wouldn’t trade my position for the world, but in retrospect, I must admit that I was spoiled because it was easy to get things done expeditiously without depending on outside elements.

We can’t do that here because realistically, the resources are not available, so we just have make due with what we have.

The other big difference is the mindset of, “I only want to talk to the chief.” While I encourage communication and transparency, the amount of time spent personally trying to satisfy everyone’s needs because they “only want to speak to the chief” is taking its toll.

I really do appreciate personal meetings, making contacts and being accessible, but there are only so many hours in a day that I can work on critical internal issues that must be addressed.

If you are referred to one of my senior staff administrators, please don’t take it as a personal affront or that I don’t care. It’s just that my job and my goal is to move this department forward, and I must remain true to that mission.

Anyway, Frank, I guess that’s probably more than you wanted to know. I want to make sure and make it perfectly clear that my wife and I are very happy to be back home and that I am very happy to be your chief. But I have to pace myself because if I’m not careful, those 12-hour days and weekend events can easily turn a well-meaning person into a burnt-out crispy critter. I think we’ve all been there.


Q: What are the curfew times for children and their ages? Kids are out at all hours in our subdivision. Also, are big rigs supposed to have license plates in front of their trucks?

• Kathy, Kapa‘a

A: Kathy, let me start with our curfew law. Generally, Hawai‘i curfew law is applicable throughout the year to children under 16 years of age without adult supervision between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. This is known as a “status” offense: behavior if committed by an adult is not a violation. Examples include curfew, truancy, beyond parental control, runaway and the like.

However, with respect to curfew, even if a juvenile is with an adult, other than the parent or guardian, the officer can still make inquires with the parent to ensure that they are aware of their child’s whereabouts.

For example, officers receive a call of a loud party at 1 a.m. and discover several juveniles in the company of adults. Under those circumstances inquires should be made, especially if alcoholic beverages are evident. In this scenario, the juvenile may be apprehended for curfew and other offenses.

If there are juveniles in your subdivision that you feel are in violation of the curfew law, please call our communication center at 241-1711 to report your observations. An officer, when available, will be dispatched to investigate.

To answer your second questions, yes, all licensed vehicles on our roadways must have both front and rear plates.

• Darryl Perry is the chief of police at the Kauai Police Department. Send your comments or questions to dperry@kauai.gov

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