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Officials to clarify order restricting traffic enforcement by deputy sheriffs

By Star-Advertiser staff


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.

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st1d wrote:
sounds like sheriffs are fishing for court overtime by issuing jaywalking tags while ignoring their primary duty: to ensure the public's safety in the courthouses.
on July 11,2012 | 09:14PM
poidragon wrote:
I still think it makes no sense to have two separate law enforcement divisions operating in the state of Hawaii with overlapping duties and responsibilities, it's a waste of finances and manpower. It makes better fiscal sense to have one law enforcement division (like HPD), that trains recruits to learn one system and then have them sub-specialize into a variety of duties like courtroom security details (like those being done by the Sheriffs department) police patrol, traffic safety officers and such; as it stands right now, there is too much duplication of processes in both State and County government that continues to eat away at the financial operating budgets, that could be redistributed to better uses and greater fiscal accountability...... The people want and need a sleek, efficient, cost effective government system for both the State and city level that improves and enhances the lifestyles we currently enjoy in the islands, instead of the bloated, over indulgent, self serving government systems we have now!
on July 11,2012 | 10:53PM
bigfig wrote:
You're complaining about Hawaii having two separate Law Enforcement entities? Have you ever been outside of this state? This is one of a very few states that have such few Law Enforcement agencies. As it is now HPD is the almighty division that enforces city, county, and state laws. Mainland: Police (enforces laws within a city) Sheriff's Department (enforces laws within the county) Highway Patrol (enforces traffic laws on the interstates/highways) State Police (investigates any major crime within the state) DLNR (enforces wildlife laws) Harbor Police (enforces laws in the harbors) Park Rangers (enforces laws at National Parks) Campus Police (enforces laws on campus) These are only the ones i could think of off the top of my head. These are pretty much standard in roughly 47 of the 50 states.
on July 12,2012 | 04:30AM
Living_Large wrote:
Was pretty sad when I saw 2 DUI cases dismissed in court due to training issues or improper procedure by Sheriff Deputies in the last few months. I wonder how many more "traffic" cases they're gonna screw up? The department seriously needs an overhaul and their duties need to be clearly defined and proper training given. Anything less would puts Deputies at risk, creates the possibility of a serious lawsuit against the state and will ultimately cost the taxpayers a lot of money.
on July 12,2012 | 10:23AM
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