HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Police Department is using Federal COVID-19 funds to hire for full-time police services officer positions. It is looking to fill more than a hundred positions.
Those hired will not be allowed to carry a firearm. They will also not have the police authority to arrest or write citations, since they haven’t received proper officer recruitment training.
As part of the duties of the position, they will assist with prisoner processing, help direct traffic, deliver documents, answer calls or complaints from the public, provide homeless outreach services.
Sgt. Malcolm Lutu, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers said they are looking forward to the extra help.
“Anything to help, you know, alleviate some of our officers from doing that, [so] they can actually be on the road,” said Lutu.
Lutu said a major part of it is helping with the COVID-19 screening and triage camps at Keehi Lagoon and the Lehua Community Park project with the homeless.
“I’ve been going down there twice a week to help. And, you know, other than security, the officers are actually building tents,” said Lutu. “There’s a lot of heavy lifting over there… helping feed the people.”
He said phone calls are another thing they need help with, with many people calling HPD with questions regarding COVID-19 orders.
“We have a ACS which is alternative call service which the chief brought it back, and what it does is, any calls or 911 calls that doesn’t need an officer present that can be dealt with over the phone,” said Lutu.
Mayor Caldwell in a press conference Thursday reiterated the need for help at HPD.
“Before the pandemic, we talked much about filling the 300 vacant positions in the Honolulu Police Department. At that point they were dealing with the challenges of our community, and now we have so many others,” said Caldwell.
Lutu said he hopes these new positions will inspire people to join the force.
“We’re giving an opportunity for some individuals who are looking to be police-men or police-women the possibly to transition over to the process of getting into recruit school hopefully after this,” said Lutu.
Those applying will have to undergo a background check.
The new positions come with a monthly salary of $4,453 dollars a month and benefits.
Job contracts will end on December 31st when the federal funding expires.