Hawaii_state_capitol_from_the_south_east796159HONOLULU – State lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives have scheduled an informational briefing to hear from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) and various social service providers on domestic violence in Hawaii, how HPD responds to domestic violence calls, and any suggestions for improvement. The briefing is an opportunity for lawmakers to gather information following a high-profile domestic violence case involving one of its officers.

The briefing, held by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs and the House Committee on Public Safety, will be on Tuesday, September 30 at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol in Room 309.

“We’re holding this briefing because concerns were raised by many lawmakers about the policies and procedures in place when officers respond to domestic violence calls,” said Sen. Will Espero (D-19 Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, portion of Ewa Villages), chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. “This will give us and the public an opportunity to address these issues and put domestic violence front-and-center on everyone’s radar. We’re making this a priority, and I see this briefing as just another step in affecting real change to help protect victims of domestic violence.”

Representative Henry Aquino (D-38 Waipahu), chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety, noted that the tragedy of domestic violence has recently captured the national and local news headlines spotlighting that the issue has no economic, educational or cultural boundaries.

“This informational hearing will allow us to hear from experts on domestic violence, separate the myths from facts, and gain information on policies and procedures by law enforcement professionals in handling domestic violence situations and calls.  The issue is not new.  We now have an opportunity to arm ourselves with education and commit our collective will to recognize, report and take action against this kind of violence that impacts all of us,” said Aquino.

Speakers and their subject matter include:

Overview of Domestic Violence laws

Loretta Sheehan, esq. and Nicole Edwards Masuda, esq., Domestic Violence Action Center

Annual Statistics and data

Cindy Spencer, Vice President, DVAC – Community Outreach & Education

Police Response to DV calls

Chief Louis Kealoha, Police Chief, Honolulu Police Department –

Response to DV calls if alleged abuser is HPD

Honolulu Police Department

Status report of Officer Cachola video

Honolulu Police Department

The role of the Police Commission

Gregory Gilmartin, Executive Officer, Police Commission

Best Practices of Law Enforcement

Marci Lopes, Executive Director, Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Experiences of victims

Cathy Betts, Executive Director, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women

Independent Review Board Proposal

Aaron Hunger, Instructor of Criminal Justice at Remington College & Ph.D. at UH of Manoa

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