Honolulu Police Department suspends use of COVID enforcement team after overtime violations

Honolulu Police Department suspends use of COVID enforcement team after overtime violations

The Honolulu Police Department has suspended enforcement of COVID rules after an internal audit revealed “multiple violations” of the department’s overtime policies.

A group of about 160 police officers offered to work overtime to enforce city and state rules implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii. An HPD internal review flagged potential abuse of overtime claims and has prompted investigations within the department, according to an HPD statement released Friday.

“Last week, HPD administrators learned of overtime irregularities and possible violations of department policy and notices. A subsequent review has revealed multiple violations of the department’s overtime policies and administrative investigations have been opened,” the statement said. “Officers and supervisors found to be in violation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and restriction from working overtime and special duty assignments.” HPD said use of COVID enforcement teams has been suspended until further notice.

“This decision was made by the HPD administration independent of any outside sources and will allow us time to review the procedures. COVID-related complaints from the public will be handled by on-duty patrol officers based on availability,” the statement said.

HPD officials would not comment beyond the statement.

Honolulu Police Commission Chairwoman Shannon Alivado told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that officers were exceeding the 20 hours of overtime per week they are allowed to work. She received an internal memo from Nov. 10 reporting some officers were working more than 70 hours of overtime per week.…

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