ASSOCIATION OFHAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
No. 2019 -48
URGING THE COUNTIES AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN THE STATE OF HAWAIʻI TO ALLOCATE ADEQUATE BUDGET AND RESOURCES TO PROVIDE PROPER STAFFING TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY AND EQUITABLE SERVICES IN HAWAIʻI’S RURAL COMMUNITIES
WHEREAS, Hawaiʻi’s rural communities regularly receive less services than their urban counterparts, while the need is great and the context of rural living requires more, not less, resources, thus creating an inequity; and
WHEREAS, Native Hawaiians represent a disproportionately large portion of the lower socio-economic rung who live in rural communities; and
WHEREAS, many Native Hawaiians choose to remain in, or return to, these rural communities due to genealogical ties and their kuleana to these specific ʻāina; and
WHEREAS, community members in rural areas rely on a deep connection to each other and their public servants to create an intimate understanding of the circumstances and nuances of each specific community in order to ensure public safety and adequate knowledge of each area; and
WHEREAS, areas such as the Puna district on the island of Hawaiʻi have had many instances where a single officer is on duty during a shift; and
WHEREAS, there are certain calls for assistance that require more than one officer to respond in order to ensure officer safety and adequate response, yet they are unable to provide that in a timely manner, and there has been many instances where the public has had to wait for hours for a response; and
WHEREAS, areas such as North Hilo district on Hawaiʻi island has a police station, but no officers or leadership assigned to that district but is serviced by the adjoining district of Hāmākua which creates a disconnect in distance and understanding between the community and officers from a different district, and causes extra work and expense for Hāmākua officers servicing cases that are adjudicated in a different district, which pulls them even further away from their duties to North Hilo; and
WHEREAS, according to a KITV report on March 4, 2019, with information cited from the State of Hawaiʻi Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO), Kauaʻi has 19 vacancies with an anticipated nine more vacancies this year, Oʻahu has 250 vacancies with 250 officers eligible for retirement this year, and Maui has 48 vacancies with 19 ready to retire, which points to the staff shortage that affects rural areas; and
WHEREAS, public safety in rural areas are often compromised by the lack of adequate and appropriate staffing and resources in their communities, and this need should be addressed and rectified.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 60th Annual Convention in Lahaina, Maui, in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau, this 16th day of November 2019, urging the counties and police departments in the State of Hawaiʻi to allocate adequate budget and resources to provide proper staffing to ensure public safety and equitable services in Hawaiʻi’s rural communities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chiefs of Police for each county request that the respective county council appropriate resources for equitable staffing to the rural communities they serve; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Mayors of each county in the State of Hawaiʻi, every police chief in the State of Hawaiʻi, every police commission in the State of Hawaiʻi, County Council members of each county, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau on the 16th day of November 2019, at the 60th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Lahaina, Maui.
Hailama V. K. K. Farden, President