LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department is preparing to undergo a three-year national accreditation process that advocates say offers a blueprint for efficiency, along with improving department and community confidence in services.
Deputy County Attorney Justin Kollar briefed the county Police Commission at its meeting Friday on his attendance last month at the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. After speaking with experts about the past 22 months of preparation for accreditation, Kollar said he feels KPD is ready to undergo the process to full accreditation.
Once completed, CALEA is designed to improve and maintain delivery of public safety services, from strengthening crime prevention capabilities to standardizing training, management procedures, personnel policies and interagency coordination.
Kollar said he and two officers have shared duties in preparing for the process, and encouraged the department to hire one full-time officer to specifically maintain more than 500 files of standards and procedures with the documentation to show that standards are met.
Commissioner Randall Francisco voiced his concerns that the commission have a roll and be engaged in the process.
He said his experience as a university administrator taught him that communication at all points is crucial or the departments tend to fear more than embrace the process.
Commissioner Thomas Iannucci said the process was in mind when Chief Darryl Perry was hired, and that accreditation is not only smart from a civil and legal perspective, but that no police department should operate outside of that system.
Brushfire traffic hampered by shift change
In Perry’s monthly report, he called on Capt. Mike Contrades to report on the KPD role in the Po‘ipu brush fire Aug. 17. Contrades said the fire department was the incident command, and KPD’s role was to provide life safety and traffic control.
Contrades said it was fortunate that the fire occurred near a shift change and that only 21 officers were available to provide the manpower to deal with traffic congestion. He said the lack of detour routes required them to turn cars around and added to the congestion.
KPD Assistant Chief Mark Begley was called on to discuss the recruiting campaign. He said the list of candidates was screened down to 33, and that background checks are being conducted. They expect to have the final list reviewed by the time of the next Academy starting date in December.
The Crossing Guard recruiting has been more difficult, even though screening is less intensive because they don’t carry a badge or a weapon, he said. It is the $11 an hour salary and two-hour split-shift has turned a lot of prospects away.
Begley said KPD is working with the Department of Public Safety to create a four-hour position with increased pay, made possible if the job description is changed to School Safety Officer. He concluded by noting that the civilian dispatch list of candidates will be the next KPD recruiting priority.
There were six letters of commendation and thanks received involving 11 personnel.
KPD Officer Tyson Relacion was given a Commendation and named Employee of the Month for August. He was recognized in part for his part in an off-duty arrest of a wanted felon at Kaua‘i Medical Clinic on July 19.
KPD Lt. Mark Scribner was named Officer of the Year. The 25-year veteran was recognized for his role in traffic safety supply and maintenance, He is also recognized for grants management and program development, specifically with improving statewide motor vehicle accident reports, an ignition interlock law, and his role in the success of the Shattered Dreams program that is now part of schools on all the islands.
Michael Lane, the senior clerk in the Lihu‘e district, was named Employee of the Year. He is recognized as “the hub” of all departmental information traffic, and for maintaining an environment where he is expected to respond to several requests on short notice.
Both Scribner and Lane thanked fellow officers and staffers for any success that was attributed to them.
KPD Communications Specialist Sarah Blane was also given an accommodation for her role in relaying department information and handling media requests.
Officer Darla Abbatiello was present with two of the youth in the Police Explorers program, Shelby Tangalin and Justin Pasadava. The two were among several commended by Officer Mark Ozaki for excellent work, professional appearance and conduct while assisting with traffic control for the July 4th Concert in the Sky event at Vidinha Stadium.
Abbatiello provided an update on the program and thanked the KPD for taking the kids under their wing and being a positive role model. She said the discipline, pride and self confidence they get from training and community involvement has held to shape young leaders and possibly future police officers.
The commission reviewed and forwarded two complaints to the chief for review.
The first complainant alleging rudeness, physical abuse and unprofessionalism from an incident that happened on Sept. 4, 2008, was not sustained for being filed more than 180 calendar days after the occurrence, pursuant to Police Commission Rules on Administrative Practice and Procedure. The second resulted in insufficient evidence to prove an allegation that a report was not filed after a motor vehicle was stolen.
The commission went into executive session to discuss three other complaints. One filed on July 25 alleges two officers were discourteous, harassed and falsely arrested an individual for liquor prohibition. Another filed July 25 alleges officers were discourteous by harassing a homeless person(s). The third filed Aug. 9 alleges the KPD was inadequate, inconsistent, ineffective and non-compliant resulting in property loss and a civil rights violation.
The next Police Commission meeting is at 9 a.m., Sept. 30, at the Mo‘ikeha Building, Meeting Room 2 A/B.
Visit www.kauai.gov for more information.