Legislative Conference Committee Passes Police Reform Bill
News Release from House Democratic Caucus, June 24, 2020
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – In a move to increase public transparency and trust in our county police officers, a legislative conference committee today passed House Bill 285 HD1 SD2 CD1 . The measure requires the disclosure of the identity of officers who are suspended or discharged for misconduct in a report to the Legislature, removes the exemption for police from disclosure under Hawaii’s Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), and clarifies additional authorities and powers of the Law Enforcement Standards Board.
"Transparency is critical to maintaining the public trust when you’re in charge of enforcing the law. The Legislature needed to take this step to help support and differentiate the many good officers who keep us safe from those who abuse their position of power," said Representative Aaron Ling Johanson, Chair of the House Labor and Public Employment Committee.
The UIPA currently requires the names of all disciplined state and city government employees to be disclosed but exempts county police officers. Amending the UIPA code effectively holds police to the same standard as civil servants.
The passage of this measure builds on several years of work by legislators for greater police transparency and reform.
"The steps this bill takes will increase transparency, build trust in law enforcement, and make it easier for our good officers to do their difficult jobs with the help of a supportive community that trusts them," said Representative Chris Lee, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill is expected to be voted on by the full House and Senate during floor sessions next week.
For more information visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov/.