HONOLULU — The Honolulu Police Department told the state Legislature that it fired or recommended firing police officers 22 times last year in cases that ranged from allegations of sex assault, kidnapping, malicious use of physical force to illicit drug use, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.
Of the 22 cases, eight officers were discharged, while the rest remain either in arbitration or have cases pending.
The department has been under fire in recent years for officer misconduct. Last year, the department reported 24 cases, and the year before that, it reported 25.
In all, 76 officers were disciplined for misconduct in 2017, another dip from the year before when 81 officers were disciplined. In 2015, punishment was doled out to 76 officers.
Twenty-five of last year’s 76 discipline cases were earmarked for criminal investigation.
This year’s misconduct stats do not include the arrest of former Chief Louis Kealoha, who quit last year amid a criminal investigation and faces federal conspiracy and corruption charges.
The new chief, Susan Ballard, has promised to do a better job investigating cases where officers are involved.
Ballard couldn’t be reached for comment Monday, but she told the Star-Advertiser in October that “too many officers that are fired for just reasons are returned to work, and some officers that are fired should not have been. Discipline needs to be done fairly and with just cause.”
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com