HONOLULU (KHON2) — According to the Honolulu Police Department, there were three arrests for assault against law enforcement officers on Sunday alone. In one of those cases, the police said a suspect punched an officer in the face.
“Orbital fracture, broke his jaw, his jaw has to be closed shut for six weeks and the other officer was pushed on a glass table and got cut on his knee and needs 16 stitches,” said Robert Cavaco, president of SHOPO.
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SHOPO said in other cases, officers were head butted and suffered major injuries. Police said there were three arrests for assault on officers from May 12 through May 18.
“An officer was going to arrest somebody and then he was ambushed from behind. The two males punched him in the face, he ended up losing his teeth along with a laceration below his eye and they fled the scene,” said Cavaco.
SHOPO said criminals are becoming more violent, putting the safety of officers on the line.
“They know that we have less staffing out there. They’re becoming more brazen and we just want to let those criminals know that if they assault a law enforcement officer, they will be arrested and they will be prosecuted,” Cavaco said.
SHOPO is hoping changes at the Prosecutor’s office will help stop the rise in violence against officers. The Prosecutor’s office recently moved assault on a law enforcement officer to the immediate charge list along with cases like murders, armed robberies and kidnappings.
“Those cases would always get charged anyway, but it would take a little longer and the way the system works the officer involved might not even know what happened to the case whereas if you can do it immediately they’re going to be kept apprised of it better,” said Steve Alm, Honolulu Prosecutor.
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SHOPO is hopeful that the newly selected police chief can help with a solution as well. They want a reassessment of the department to move around resources where they’re needed.