The Honolulu Police Department is doubling the amount of classroom time that officers receive annually on domestic violence issues and is working more closely with victim advocacy groups on developing more stringent policies on how they should approach cases involving law enforcement officers as potential suspects, HPD Chief Louis Kealoha and other police brass told a City Council committee Tuesday.
The HPD briefing to the Public Safety and Economic Development Committee offered the first public interaction between Council members and Kealoha since the public uproar that exploded in the wake of the high profile case involving an HPD sergeant who is seen on surveillance video punching his girlfriend at a Waipahu restaurant last month.
Last week, an Oahu Grand Jury declined to indict police Sgt. Darren Cachola, who is seen in a Sept. 8 surveillance video punching his girlfriend repeatedly. The girlfriend has insisted that she and Cachola were horseplaying. An internal administrative investigation into Cachola’s actions and as well as how officers responded to the scene, however, is ongoing.
In response to the case, Council Public Safety Chairwoman Carol Fukunaga urged police brass to give an overview of their domestic violence policies, procedures and training.