911 calls to police recorded, but not all result in reports
Question: Regarding illegal street racing (808ne.ws/1tuYeKx): There is plenty of racing going on in Mililani as well. It is happening during daylight hours as well as at night, especially along Kipapa Drive. The last time I called 911 to report, the operator told me they do not record calls to report such incidents.
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Question: Regarding illegal street racing (808ne.ws/1tuYeKx): There is plenty of racing going on in Mililani as well. It is happening during daylight hours as well as at night, especially along Kipapa Drive. The last time I called 911 to report, the operator told me they do not record calls to report such incidents. One must have an officer come to the house to file a report. I was blindsided. You mean all the calls I made to report fireworks in my neighborhood are not recorded? Is this true? If it is, why bother reporting?
Answer: All 911 calls are recorded, and every request for service results in a police response but not necessarily a written police report, said Michelle Yu, a spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.
As for fireworks, HPD does closely track all fireworks-related 911 calls during certain times of the year, Yu said.
She explained the distinction between “police response” and “police report” involving the 911 emergency system, which receives more than 1 million calls a year on Oahu:
All 911 calls are recorded, but incoming calls are not routinely logged in writing (with certain exceptions, such as fireworks calls around New Year’s). The audio recording is saved for a year from the time of the call. HPD is able to retrieve it during that period but must know the date and time of the call to do so.
Officers are dispatched for all 911 calls that request police service, but an official police report is not generated for every incident response. “For example, a report might not be made for minor incidents such as a brief traffic tie-up or an unfounded report of suspicious activity,” Yu said. “In these cases a police report would only be made upon request” of the complaining witness.
Generally, in the case of street racing, an officer would respond to the area where the racing is reportedly occurring. Such calls usually don’t require an officer to visit the complaining witness and take a written report.
In the case of fireworks, HPD asks the complaining witness to meet with an officer so the officer can gather additional information and try to locate the source of the illegal activity; that interaction would generate a written police report.
Unlike 911 calls, police reports are filed in writing, and the record lives on. Anyone who makes a written report should note the report number to ease retrieval later, which leads us to our next question.
Q: How do I get a copy of a police report?
A: The Honolulu Police Department spells out the process on its website, at 808ne.ws/1WN76XP. Generally, police reports are available only to involved parties (or to third parties to whom an involved party has granted access) and only after “all investigative processes have been completed and closed.” The cost is 50 cents for the report’s first page and 25 cents per page thereafter.
Requests must be made in person or by mail, not online. Go to or mail your request to Honolulu Police Department, Records and Identification Division, 801 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, HI 96813. The division is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except holidays. If you submit a request by mail, be sure to include your complete contact information.
In your request you must include the name and address of the complainant, victim or involved party; the police report number, if known; the type of report (robbery, assault, etc.); the date and time of the crime or incident; and a notarized release from the involved party if you are not directly involved. The involved party’s birth or death certificate might also be required.
All medical reports and criminal reports involving juveniles are considered confidential and released only by subpoena or court order, according to HPD. The website also says that the Records Division “does not provide routine assistance” with personal or academic research.
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