STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3017
RE: H.B. No. 2071
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Twenty-Ninth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2018
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Labor, to which was referred H.B. No. 2071, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Establish a law enforcement standards board for the certification of county police officers, state public safety officers, and employees of the Departments of Transportation, Land and Natural Resources, Taxation, and Attorney General with police powers;
(2) Prohibit employment of non-certified law enforcement officers beginning on July 1, 2019;
(3) Establish the law enforcement standards board special fund; and
(4) Appropriate funds to defray the expenses of the Board.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, Young Progressives Demanding Action, and four individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Maui Police Department, Hawaii Police Department, and one individual. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Budget and Finance, and one individual.
Your Committees find that proper regulation and oversight over law enforcement officers are critical to maintaining public health, safety, and welfare. Hawaii is the only state in the country without any state-level regulation of the police, as regulation is left to the counties. Hawaii also does not establish minimum standards required to be a police officer and does not have any procedure for revoking a police officer's certification for serious misconduct. Your Committees find that the State needs to enact a law that certifies law enforcement officers to ensure the highest standards of professionalism, uniformity of standards, and accountability throughout our islands. Accordingly, your Committees find that a law enforcement standards board for the certification of county police officers, state public safety officers, and employees of the Departments of Transportation, Land and Natural Resources, Attorney General, and Taxation with police powers should be established to ensure the proper oversight of law enforcement officers across the State.
Your Committees also note that while several executive departments, including the Department of Public Safety and Department of Transportation, have offered testimony in support of the measure, the Department of the Attorney General, the State's chief law enforcement agency, has not indicated whether it believes that the proposed certification board is necessary or proper for the State. Accordingly, your Committees request that if your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means decide to hear this measure, that the Department of the Attorney General state its position on the proposal and submit any proposed amendments that the Department believes would alleviate its concerns with the proposal to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2075, to encourage further discussion; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Labor that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2071, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2071, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs and Labor,
JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair