- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha met with a group of female lawmakers upset with the department’s reaction to the case of a sergeant accused of domestic abuse.

Kealoha told reporters afterward that the department needs to be more transparent.

Kealoha said Tuesday that the police department loses trust and confidence when it doesn’t share enough information, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://bit.ly/1B8p07T) reported.

Police and lawmakers are ready “to move forward to restore trust in the department, City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said.

Kealoha said the police have completed their criminal investigation into actions by the sergeant earlier this month.

It’s up to city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro’s office to decide whether to pursue charges. A spokesman for Kaneshiro said the criminal investigation is under review and that no charges have been filed.

Kealoha has said that even if the prosecutor’s office declines to charge the sergeant with domestic abuse or assault, there are internal administrative penalties ranging from a written reprimand to suspension or even termination that the department could pursue.

The police are still conducting an internal investigation into the sergeant’s actions and into the Pearl City officers who responded to the incident but didn’t file a report.

Kealoha said he told lawmakers that the department is reviewing the ways domestic abuse cases are reported to the public and Legislature.

He also said he told them there are plans to meet with the police chiefs from the three other counties to create a uniform reporting and accounting system for domestic violence.

Also attending the meeting were state Sens. Rosalyn Baker, Suzanne Chun Oakland, Jill Tokuda and Laura Thielen; City Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga; and state Rep. Cynthia Thielen.

The lawmakers called for the meeting after the release of surveillance video showing the sergeant allegedly beating his girlfriend in a restaurant. But Baker said the meeting wasn’t held to discuss the incident.

“We were looking at the overall issue,” she said. “We saw the case as an opportunity to establish that dialogue and to look at all of the policies and procedures, attitudes, services out in the community … how can we make things better.”


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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