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Hawaii News

Officer’s arrest third for HPD this month

Another police officer has been arrested — the third for HPD this month.

Scott J. Valdez, 43, was arrested Thursday for investigation of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and criminal property damage.

Valdez was assigned to the Traffic Division at the time of the incident. He has since been reassigned to the central receiving desk, but an HPD spokeswoman said Valdez’s new assignment was not prompted by the investigation. His first Circuit Court appearance will be tomorrow.

Two other officers besides Valdez were arrested this month.

On Sept. 16, Lt. Jason K. Kawabata, who works in the Information Technology Division, was charged with abuse of a family or household member: his wife, who is a sergeant in the Police Department.

Kawabata, a 19-year veteran and the department’s lieutenant of the year in 2009, turned himself in at the main station.

Kawabata, 42, is out on bail and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow.

John F. Rapozo, assigned to the Narcotics-Vice Division, was charged with fourth-degree theft on Sept. 10 at a Walmart store in Pearl City. Among the items Rapozo is accused of shoplifting is a video game.

Rapozo’s first court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Ewa District Court.

After Rapozo’s arrest, Chief Louis Kealoha said he was "deeply concerned" about the allegations and that the department has opened both criminal and administrative investigations.

Kealoha said, "The department holds its officers to a higher standard than the general public, and every allegation or complaint is fully investigated. Criminal cases involving officers are conferred with the prosecutor’s office to determine whether charges will be filed. It’s important to note that even cases that do not result in criminal charges are still subject to administrative review or disciplinary action."

This was after Kealoha disclosed that five officers in the 2,000-member force are being investigated for alleged major crimes. Kealoha added that "cases involving an additional 17 officers are with the prosecutor’s office."

Last month, officer Michael Tarmoun was indicted by an Oahu grand jury in the assault of a Waikiki prostitute — a charge he has denied.

Boyd Kamikawa, 53, was arrested in April on suspicion of negligent injury and cited for driving under the influence after his car hit a 61-year-old woman.

In July nearly half of the officers assigned to the department’s DUI roadblock detail were temporarily reassigned to other duties during an investigation of false reporting of overtime in the Traffic Division.

Two sergeants and six officers in the Enforcement Unit of the Traffic Division were reassigned.


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