HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1468

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to public safety.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the abuse of illicit drugs in the State is an epidemic that has no place in Hawaii's families, communities, or schools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths in Hawaii increased by eighty-three per cent between 2006 and 2014, a growth rate more than double the national average of thirty-seven per cent.

The alcohol and drug abuse division of the department of health provided startling data in its December 2015 legislative report. According to the report, accidental drug overdose is a serious public health problem in Hawaii, with an almost two-fold increase in deaths from drug poisonings between 1999 and 2013. The report also determined that eighty-eight per cent of the fatal poisonings between 2009 and 2013 were drug-related, with prescription drugs being implicated in nearly half of the unintentional poisonings and thirty-six per cent of deaths involving opioid pain relievers. Death certificate information further indicates that fifty-two per cent of these deaths involved illicit substances, most commonly methamphetamine and cocaine.

The legislature further finds that there are other innovative options available that would efficiently and effectively aid in the abatement of this public crisis. At present, the department of public safety deploys the services of the special operations K9 unit to detect bombs, narcotics, and currency. This unit is currently based in Honolulu and is composed of five canine handlers and five deputy canines, with two specializing in bomb detection, two specializing in narcotics detection, and one specializing in currency detection. The successful use of detection canines at airports, harbors, and borders is commonplace across the nation and world.

The legislature finds that substantially increasing financial support to the special operations K9 unit will have a great impact on Hawaii's drug epidemic. Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to establish a special fund and make an appropriation to increase sheriff canine handlers and deputy canine resources to assist with the detection of explosives and the fight against narcotics and narcotics trafficking.

SECTION 2. Chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part V to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"329-   Special operations K9 unit special fund. (a) There is established in the state treasury the special operations K9 unit special fund, into which shall be deposited:

(1) Moneys appropriated to the fund by the legislature; and

(2) Moneys directed, allocated, or disbursed to the K9 unit from government agencies or private individuals or organizations, including grants, gifts, awards, donations, and assessments of landowners for costs to administer and operate the K9 unit.

(b) Moneys in the fund shall be expended by the department for federal, state, and county law enforcements efforts, including the hiring of personnel, to:

(1) Prevent narcotic use and trafficking;

(2) Detect explosives; and

(3) Detect currency."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $7,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 to be deposited into the special operations K9 unit special fund.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the special operations K9 unit special fund the sum of $7,000,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2017-2018 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2018-2019 to support explosive, narcotics, and currency detection efforts by federal, state, and county law enforcement by funding:

(1) Thirty full-time equivalent (30.0 FTE) permanent canine handler positions and thirty deputy canines within the department of public safety on Oahu;

(2) Ten full-time equivalent (10.0 FTE) permanent canine handler positions and ten deputy canines within the department of public safety on Hawaii island;

(3) Six full-time equivalent (6.0 FTE) permanent canine handler positions and six deputy canines within the department of public safety on Maui; and

(4) Four full-time equivalent (4.0 FTE) permanent canine handler positions and four deputy canines within the department of public safety on Kauai.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of public safety for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2017.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Special Operations K9 Unit Special Fund; Positions; Appropriation

 

Description:

Establishes the special operations K9 unit special fund. Appropriates money to the fund for deputy canines and full-time equivalent (FTE) permanent canine handler positions within the department of public safety.

 

 

 

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