POSTED: 10:20 p.m. HST, Jul 11, 2012
The Department of Public Safety will issue a new memo to its Sheriff Division Thursday to clarify that deputies can still enforce traffic laws, after an internal memo on Wednesday appeared to order deputies to stop, a department spokeswoman said.
Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said the memo’s wording was “misleading” and that the intent was not to have deputies stop enforcing traffic laws. “They’re still going to do their normal job,” Schwartz said.
The state’s roughly 290 deputies, who fall under the Department of Public Safety, are tasked with protecting state facilities and have the power to issue traffic citations.
Schwartz said Public Safety Director Ted Sakai was concerned about deputies leaving their posts in courthouses to monitor for jaywalkers and wanted them to focus on their core assignments.
The memo continued to say deputies may still pursue traffic enforcement action in extreme emergencies, but only after receiving a supervisor’s authorization.
Schwartz said the department decided to issue a clarification after news organizations called to question the stand-down.