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Kokua Line

Citizens wondering about ‘illegally’ parked police cars

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QUESTION: I often see police cars parked around Queen Emma Square. There are only 15 metered stalls and a few stalls reserved for the Honolulu Police Department on Queen Emma Street and toward the exit of Queen Emma Square. I understand that police and other emergency vehicles park wherever they need to while on a call, however, this police car was parked where the curb was red, there was a sun shield in the windshield and there didn’t appear to be any police activity in the area. It appears that the officer parked the car to attend court. What are the rules for emergency vehicles parking "illegally" when not actively on a call? I’ve seen cars parked in the same area cited by police. Does this mean that police are above the law?

QUESTION: I am currently sitting in my car across the street from my apartment building on Young Street at 12:15 a.m. I tried to enter the building’s only entrance/exit and it was blocked by a police car, parked diagonally so as to block both lanes of the driveway. I have been here for over 20 minutes. Does HPD have a policy regarding the blocking of driveways? The officers were up in the building and unable to move their cars or respond to questions.

ANSWER: In both cases we passed on the photos provided to HPD, showing exactly what HPD vehicles were involved and where they were parked.

In the first case the police vehicle was illegally parked; in the second case the extenuating circumstance was that the officer assigned to the car was responding to a volatile situation.

"In both cases, supervisors have spoken to the officers," said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

She declined to go into specifics about what those conversations entailed, including whether any reprimands or penalties resulted, citing personnel privacy issues.

Officers attending court "have been reminded" about obeying the parking laws, Yu said.

In the second situation the officer left his car in the driveway to respond to a "fight involving multiple parties" in the building, but "ordinarily" should not be blocking driveways, she said.

KAPOLEI TAX HELP

Although the AARP’s Tax-Aide program is not offering free tax assistance in the Kapolei area this year ("Kokua Line," Feb. 16) another volunteer-run program is offering help to senior and low-income clients at two Kapolei locations.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites are at the Hickam Federal Credit Union-Kapolei and Goodwill Industries-Kapolei. Appointments are required.

Call 432-9848 to make an appointment Tuesdays or Thursdays at the credit union site; call 347-4957 to make an appointment Wednesdays or Saturdays at the Goodwill location.

There is no official connection between the two programs other than that both are staffed by volunteers and sponsored by the IRS.

AUWE

To the mother in the restroom at the Kamehameha Drive-In swap meet on Sunday, Jan. 30. Your daughter was in an umbrella stroller just outside your stall. When she called "mommy," you told her to "Shut up, or you going get some cracks." The toddler immediately fell silent and sat with a worried look on her face, as if to have instant knowledge about what a "crack" entails. My heart ached. How sad, lady, to raise a child in fear. This type of abuse could possibly ruin a keiki’s entire future, with the threat of violence always in their world. Shame on you, as the child was not even 2 to 3 years old! I am glad you are not MY mommy! — Disgusted

Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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