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Hawaii Department of Public Safety

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hawaii Department of Public Safety
Patch of the Correction Division
Patch of the Correction Division
Patch of the Law Enforcement Division
Patch of the Law Enforcement Division
Agency overview
Employees2,263 (as of 2006)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionHawaii, U.S.
Map of USA HI.svg
Map of Hawaii Department of Public Safety's jurisdiction.
Size10,931 square miles (28,310 km2)
Population1,283,388 (2007 est.)[1]
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersHonolulu, Hawaii
Deputy Sheriffs
Narcotics Enforcement Agents
Agency executive
  • Nolan Espinda, Director

The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is a department within the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is headquartered in the 919 Ala Moana Boulevard building in Honolulu, Hawaii.[2] The department's mission statement is "To uphold justice and public safety by providing correctional and law enforcement services to Hawaii’s communities with professionalism, integrity and fairness.". The Department of Public Safety is made up of three divisions: Administration, Corrections, and Law Enforcement.



The Administration Division provides support services that enable the corrections staff to fulfill their responsibilities. Some of these services include training and staff development, fiscal and personnel management, management of the operating budget and capital improvements program budget, procurement, and management information systems and research.[3]



The Corrections Division oversees four prisons. Three of the prisons are located on the island of Oahu and one on the  island of Hawaii.[4] They include:

Private prisons

In 1995 the State of Hawaii began contracting with prisons outside of Hawaii to house prisoners from Hawaii.[9] The criteria for sending inmates to private prisons on the mainland include a minimum sentence of 24 months, a lack of pending criminal cases in Hawaii, and a lack of major health and medical issues. Attorney Daphne Barbee said that she had clients with cases pending who were sent to the mainland anyway.[10] According to Kevin Dayton of the Honolulu Advertiser, some inmates prefer to stay on the mainland for superior educational programs, drug treatment programs, and other programs that a prisoner would complete before he or she is considered for parole. Other prisoners, particularly those with young children and families, prefer to stay in Hawaii.[11]

The Mainland Section initially contracted with three facilities, one in Kentucky and two in Arizona, to house prisoners sentenced in Hawaii.[12]

The Kentucky prison, Otter Creek Correctional Center, was a designated women's prison run by Corrections Corporation of America. After numerous reports of prison staff sexually abusing inmates, Hawaii brought its prisoners home from the facility in August 2009. CCA closed the facility in 2013.[13]

The state also removed its prisoners from CCA's Red Rock Correctional Center in Arizona in 2014.[14]

As of 2016, about 1,900 male Hawaii state inmates are held at CCA's Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona. This represents the majority of Hawaii's male inmate population.[15][16][17]


Hawaii is one of six states in the United States that operates its jails at the state level. In most states jails are the responsibility of county and county-equivalent governments. The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is responsible for four jails: one on each of the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai.[4]

Law Enforcement

Narcotics Enforcement Division

The Narcotics Enforcement Division (NED) serves and protects the public by enforcing laws relating to controlled substances and regulated chemicals. They are responsible for the registration and control of the manufacture, distribution, prescription, and dispensing of controlled substances and precursor or essential chemicals within the State.[18]

Sheriff Division

The Sheriff Division carries out law enforcement services statewide. Its mission is to preserve the peace by protecting all persons and property within premises under the control of the Judiciary and all State facilities; providing process services and execution of court documents; handling detained persons; and providing secure transportation for persons in custody. It also provides law enforcement services at the  Honolulu International Airport. It is one of the two law enforcement divisions within the Department of Public Safety. All sworn deputy sheriff personnel are statutorily law enforcement officers.

The Court Services Branch provides a Law Enforcement presence for the Judiciary of the State of Hawaii. It is similar to what the  U.S. Marshals Service does for the U.S. Government. Some of the duties of a Court Services Branch Deputy include but are not limited to cellblock operations, transporting of persons in custody, at times arresting or citing of violators of statute or ordinance, execution of court orders/writs, and the keeping of the peace within the various Judicial confines.

The Special Operations Section, Fugitive Unit, or more commonly referred to as the Warrants Unit is also attached to the Court Services Branch. This  plain-clothes unit is primarily tasked with the execution of various felony and traffic arrest warrants. Other duties include but are not limited to the execution of writs of possession and assisting other Law Enforcement Agencies on Oahu and the neighbor islands when requested.

The sheriff's receiving desk is currently located at 240 Keawe St. in downtown Honolulu. This serves as a sterile location for booking, processing, securing, searching, and transporting of arrestees. It also houses the Sheriff section Warrants office.

The Capitol Section provides an immediate law enforcement presence at the Hawaii State Capitol, Hawaii Civic Center Complex, Washington Place, and other locations deemed necessary by factors other than public safety related statistics. A recent agreement (2013) between the Sheriff Division and the Hawaii Community Development Association (HCDA) placed stipulations that the Sheriffs provide Law Enforcement for the Kaka'ako area as well as Kewalo Basin. Deputies have also been tasked with providing patrols at the Mayor Rights Public Housing Complexes. Deputies, arrest and or cite violators of statutes or ordinances during vehicular patrol.

The Executive Protection Unit is tasked with the physical protection of the  Governor and  Lt. Governor of the State of Hawaii.

The Airport Sheriff Detail provides law enforcement services in and around the Honolulu International Airport.

Security Services at the Hawaii State Hospital, Maui Memorial Hospital, Waimano Training School and Hospital, and Fort Ruger at the Department of Defense are overseen by the Sheriff Division. Due to financial constraints some of the security positions were eliminated and contracted out.

The K9 Services Section utilizes  canines to detect narcotics and explosives on limited state properties on the island of Oahu.

In 2007, the Sheriff Division was the first agency in the state to be certified with a Department of Homeland Security type III SWAT Team. The team could respond to an incident on state property on any island if it were needed.

A Sheriff's Chaplain Corps began with one chaplain in 2004. Chaplains volunteer their time to assist in times of need. In 2009, 3 uniformed chaplains serve all sections and units within the Sheriff Division.

Sheriff's Office facilities:

  • Capitol Patrol Section (Hawaii State Capitol Building)
  • Honolulu International Airport Unit
  • Circuit Court
  • District Court (Including Ewa and Kaneohe Courts)
  • Kapolei Court
  • State Capitol
  • Receiving Desk - 240 Keawe St. Honolulu HI
  • Hilo Court Section
  • Kona Court Section
  • Kauai Court Section
  • Maui Court Section

State police or state patrol

See: State police (United States) § Statewide policing in Hawaii

Hawaii is the only US state to not have a state police agency.

Correctional facilities

Fallen officers

Since the establishment of the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, two officers have been killed.[19]

Rank Name Date of Death Cause of Death Age Location
Deputy Sheriff Daniel Browne-Sanchez 02-10-2007 Shot while trying to subdue an armed robbery suspect[20] 27 Osake Sushi Bar and Lounge
Officer Thad Fumio Sagai 12-20-1983 Shot and killed after responding to a call of an insane and naked man harassing visitors; the man stole his service pistol and shot him 26 Diamond Head Crater


In April 2016, Hawaii news media outlet Hawaii News Now reported that fifteen deputy sheriffs employed by the department, including some high ranking officials within the division, had not yet received basic law enforcement training, despite some of them having been employed as sheriffs for more than two decades. According to the report, sources indicated that the lack of training "had led to some cases getting 'fouled up.'"[21][22]

On April 11, 2019, Hawaii News Now reported that Department of Public Safety administrator Joveta Marte Martinez had repeatedly lied about receiving degrees from Southern Oregon State College (now called Southern Oregon University) and Saint Joseph's College of Maine.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2017-12-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Department of Public Safety". State of Hawaii. May 4, 2020. Archived from the original on April 14, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020. 919 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96814, (808) 587-1288
  3. ^ "Department of Public Safety".
  4. ^ a b "Department of Public Safety".
  5. ^ "Waiawa Correctional Facility". Hawaii Department of Public Safety. May 4, 2020. Archived from the original on February 16, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020. The Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF) is a 334-bed, minimum-security prison for sentenced male inmates. WCF provides an environment that helps inmates successfully re-enter the community from prison. All inmates participate in education or substance abuse treatment programs.
  6. ^ "Women's Community Correctional Center". Hawaii Department of Public Safety. May 4, 2020. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2020. WCCC is the only women’s prison in Hawaii. It also serves the needs of pre-trial and sentenced female offenders. The facility houses female offenders who are of maximum, medium and minimum custody levels.
  7. ^ "Kulani Correctional Facility". Hawaii Department of Public Safety. May 4, 2020. Archived from the original on April 10, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020. Kulani Correctional Facility (KCF) is a 200-bed minimum security prison located on the slope of Mauna Loa, approximately 20 miles south east of Hilo, Big Island of Hawai’i.
  8. ^ "Closure of Kulani Saves $2.8M Annually; Facility to Help At-Risk Youth." Hawaii Department of Public Safety. July 2009. Retrieved on September 30, 2010.
  9. ^ Kakesako, Gregg K. (September 4, 2010). "Third Hawaii inmate faces death penalty in Arizona". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Archived from the original on May 4, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2020.
  10. ^ McNarie, Alan D. "Death, detention and dollars." Honolulu Weekly. May 19, 2010. Retrieved on September 30, 2010.
  11. ^ Dayton, Kevin. "Arizona prison will house Hawaii inmates." The Honolulu Advertiser. Tuesday June 26, 2007. Retrieved on September 30, 2010.
  12. ^ "Department of Public Safety" (PDF).
  13. ^ Ian Urbina, "Hawaii to Remove Inmates Over Abuse Charges, New York Times, August 25, 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Riot at Red Rock Correctional Facility in Arizona Under Investigation". California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Today. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Halawa Correctional Facility." Hawaii Department of Public Safety. Retrieved on May 19, 2010.
  16. ^ Brady, Kat. "Using private prisons costs more than it seems." (editorial) Honolulu Star Advertiser. June 18, 2010. Retrieved on September 29, 2010.
  17. ^ "Saguaro Correctional Center Archived 2010-09-25 at the Wayback Machine." Corrections Corporation of America. Retrieved on September 30, 2010.
  18. ^ "Department of Public Safety - Law Enforcement Division". State of Hawaii. May 4, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  19. ^ "Hawaii Department of Public Safety - Sheriff Division, Hawaii, Fallen Officers". Officer Down Memorial Page. May 4, 2020. Archived from the original on May 4, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020. Line of Duty Deaths: 2
  20. ^ Dooley, Jim (February 10, 2007). "Hawaii man convicted of murdering deputy". Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on May 22, 2008. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  21. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: 15 deputy sheriffs headed to class because they lack initial law enforcement training". Hawaii News Now. April 7, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  22. ^ Jung, Yoohyun (September 12, 2019). "Top Hawaii Sheriff Officials Lacked Basic Training For Decades". Civil Beat. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  23. ^ Kawano, Lynn (April 11, 2019). "Administrator in charge of DPS training programs accused of lying on her resume". Hawaii News Now. Archived from the original on May 4, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 April 2021, at 22:02
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