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Ask the Mayor: Are You Concerned About MPD’s Reputation?

June 29, 2015, 7:07 AM HST · Updated July 5, 2:13 PM
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MPD seal. File photo.

MPD seal. File photo.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Aloha Mayor,

Q: Our police officers seem to have been in the news a lot lately. Two were arrested for DUIs earlier this month and another was under investigation for driving around Upcountry naked and flashing people, according to the media.

We trust these officers with our lives and that they will make good decisions. In fact there was a police shooting on Lower Main Road just a couple of weeks ago. I’m assuming the police had a good reason to do what they did, but with their fellow officers under scrutiny like this, it’s getting harder and harder to feel safe.

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I guess my question is, aren’t you and the chief of police worried about how our entire department looks when some of our officers go astray?

A: I have great faith in Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu and our Maui police officers. I know I speak for the chief when I say that our officers have a great responsibility to keep our community safe, and sometimes have to do so by putting themselves in harm’s way. They defend life, protect property, enforce laws, make arrest and render aid. They may need to use force or even deadly force in the defense of human life. Each officer is expected to respond with only the level of force which is reasonable to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

It should also be noted that our officers receive ongoing training to make sure their law enforcement duties are carried out judiciously and with great care.

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Yes, some may make poor decisions, but problem employees can be found in any workplace. Police officers are not above the law, and those who have broken the law themselves have been disciplined and in some cases terminated. Please do not hold the actions of a few to represent the majority of our officers, who work diligently to serve and protect this community.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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