Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Public militias in Hawaii
by Larry Geller
Here on Oahu, readers of the daily paper may be familiar with problems we’re having with our sheriffs as a result of a state audit. There is a broader problem that we on Oahu would have little or no sense of. But Kauai reporter Andy Parx is on top of it, and writes in an article today (snip):
For years, not just the Sheriffs' Division but the DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Recourse Enforcement along with the DOTs harbor police have been anything but ethical and competent models of law enforcement with each force answerable only to their respective department heads. That has created private police forces without any of the civilian oversight that is required of accredited law enforcement agencies across the nation. [Got windmills?, Out of the frying pan…, 8/18/2010]
I recall testifying at the Legislature against allowing DOCARE to carry Tasers, in part because of lack of accountability, lack of training, and their testimony that the weapons were non-lethal, in contradiction to the readily available facts. The head of DLNR is just not competent to supervise what amounts to a small government militia, IMHO.
Andy closes with some simple recommendations that are worth heeding. Check out his full article at the link above.
I'm not quite following the use of the term militias. Are we talking about a poorly run state agency or are we talking about the senior people at the sheriff's department using the sheriffs as strong armed anarchist?