STAND. COM. REP. NO. 448

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1293

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 1293 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC SAFETY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Establish the special operations K9 unit special fund; and

 

(2) Appropriate money to the fund for deputy canines and full-time equivalent permanent canine handler positions within the Department of Public Safety.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, State of Hawaii; and Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawaii. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance and Department of Public Safety.

 

Your Committee finds that abuse of illicit drugs is a serious health problem that threatens the welfare of the people of the State. It is essential to deploy every reasonable means necessary to ensure that an epidemic of drug abuse does not spread. One technique that could increase the efficiency of law enforcement with detecting and subsequently removing illicit drugs from the State is the expanded use of trained canines. The benefits of drug detecting canines are well-known and widely utilized across the globe. Expanding the use of canine special units in the State would enhance law enforcement's ability to combat illicit drug use.

 

Your Committee, however, acknowledges the concerns raised by the testimony of the Department of Public Safety relating to the costs of administering the proposed K9 program. The Department estimates that the measure as written would have an initial start-up cost of approximately $9,719,699, excluding the cost of an area for kennels and training. Further, the Department calculates that the recurring annual costs of the program would total approximately $6,265,555. Therefore, your Committee believes that a phased in approach for implementation, beginning first in Oahu then expanding to the neighbor islands at a rate of thirty-three percent annually for three years, is prudent. In addition, given the costs of the program, it is important to put in place auditing requirements to monitor the program's expenditures.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Adding language to require the auditor to conduct an annual audit of the uses of the special operations K9 unit special fund; and

 

(2) Establishing a phased-in approach, introducing the program first on the Island of Oahu then expanding to the neighbor islands over the course of three years.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1293, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1293, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,

 

 

 

________________________________

CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair