Hawaii County police officials released seven years of annual police misconduct reports this week, in response to a public records request from Civil Beat.

The summaries from 2005 through 2012 are similar to the sparsely detailed reports by the Honolulu Police Department with the Legislature. But Hawaii County’s have even less information that could help the public understand why officers are being disciplined and why they receive particular punishments.

The Hawaii County Police Department told Civil Beat it did not have copies of the annual misconduct reports prior to 2005. The reports have been required since 1995 when the Legislature agreed to exempt police misconduct files from full public disclosure.

The summaries show 208 incidents of misconduct resulting in disciplinary action over the past eight years. That means that once every two weeks, on average, a Hawaii County police officer is suspended or discharged.

Hawaii County has about 430 sworn officers. It’s about a quarter the size of the Honolulu police force, which has is the state’s largest with nearly 2,000 officers.

The 208 incidents of misconduct resulted in 17 discharges. But as Hawaii County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri notes on his department’s website, the disciplinary results, “part or in their entirety,” are still subject to the grievance procedure laid out in the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers(SHOPO) collective bargaining agreement.

Discharges could have been overturned on appeal and the officers still on the force. A Civil Beat analysis of Honolulu police misconduct summaries found that nearly 40 percent of discharges from 2000 through 2012 were overturned.

The Big Island summaries provide only one sentence descriptions of officer misconduct. Honolulu’s reports give more details depending on the situation.

“Officer failed to follow cellblock procedures,” one entry from the 2009 Hawaii County report states. The officer received two days off.

Another officer violated the same standards of conduct in the same year for not following “report writing procedure.”

That officer’s punishment? Sixteen days suspension.

Here’s a list of incidents of misconduct that resulted in discharge, as described in the Hawaii County summaries:

Year Summary of Facts
2005 Officer did not complete reports.
2005 Reserve officer arrested for abuse of family household member.
2005 Officer used physical force and threats toward an individual.
2005 Officer allowed family member to operate police vehicle while on duty.
2005 Officer used position to gain favors.
2005 Reserve officer used OC Spray on a handcuffed individual.
2007 Officer made untruthful statements during investigation.
2007 Officer was untruthful during a criminal investigation.
2007 Officer tested positive during mandatory drug testing.
2009 Officer failed mandatory drug test.
2011 Officer was insubordinate toward superior officer.
2011 Officer was not truthful about attendance of training.
2011 Officer failed to follow report writing procedure.
2011 Officer brought disrepute to the department.
2011 Officer committed a criminal act.
2012 Officer committed a criminal act.

Civil Beat also asked for the names of all Hawaii County police officers who have been charged with a crime in the past 10 years, the number of officers who have been suspended or disciplined in the past 10 years and which incidents of misconduct included in the legislative reports were the result of police commission investigations.

We were told our request for that information can’t be granted because it would require Hawaii County “to create a summary or compilation of from records not readily retrievable.”

Click here to read all the stories in Civil Beat’s special report, In The Name Of The Law.

Read Hawaii County’s annual misconduct reports from 2005 to 2012 here:

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