Leaders of the police union say that officer staffing shortages at HPD increase risk for both officers and residents. Scarce police presence increases “crimes of opportunity.” Robberies, sex assaults, and car thefts were all up in January.
The union urges HPD officials to bring staffing to 100% and authorize overtime. At the moment, HPD has more than 300 vacancies and 193 officers eligible for retirement.
Crime Rates Are All up Compared to One Year Ago
SHOPO President Robert Cavaco came down hard on the leadership of the Honolulu Police Department, saying that they are deceiving people into thinking that they’re protected. With 300 open vacancies at the department and 193 officers eligible to retire, the problem of understaffing will only become worse.
Crime rate statistics show that crimes of opportunity (car thefts, robberies, and sex assaults) in Honolulu, Hawaii, were all up in January, compared to one year ago. And according to Cavaco, scarce police presence is to blame.
With scarce police presence, people should work on increasing their safety by installing good door locks, car alarms, etc.
Only 19 Officers Graduated in the Last Class
Cavaco says that the understaffing problem is an open secret and called the HPD officials to increase staffing to 100% and authorize overtime. According to him, the last class that graduated had only 19 police officers.
In response to these accusations, the provisional Police Chief Rade Vanic said the HPD is working to solve the problem and called Cavaco’s insinuations that people are unsafe irresponsible.
He added that the Police department has to have an understanding of the city’s other critical services and that they can’t simply ask for more funds. He emphasized that balance is important.