The Chief's Corner

Body-Worn Cameras

Chief of Police Darryl D. Perry

Kauai Police Department

As many of you know, the implementation of the Kauai Police Department’s Body-Worn Camera program—the first in the State of Hawaii—took place on December 14, 2015.

However, what you didn’t know is what went on behind the scenes in a process that began over 2 years ago with extensive and comprehensive research on best practices, review of policies and procedures, and the implementation of a successful 1-month pilot program in 2014.

Without exception, law enforcement practitioners nationwide recognize the benefits of the body-worn camera and confidently predict that it will be mandatory-standard issued equipment in the not too distant future.

You can be proud that KPD, like many other progressive police departments, is ahead of the curve.In addition to the below listed benefits associated with the program, on average departments who have utilized body-worn cameras have realized a 52% reduction in citizen complaints and 42% reduction in the use of force by police officers.


  1. Document unedited encounters between police and public
  2. Improve evidence collection
  3. Increase officer and citizen safety through reduction in the use of force
  4. Enhance agency transparency
  5. Strengthen officer performance and accountability
  6. Promote community trust
  7. Provide better training
  8. Prevent, reduce, or quickly resolve complaints brought by members of the public
  9. Ensure events are captured from an officer’s perspective
  10. Save time and money on internal investigations, and criminal and civil lawsuits

During the development of the program KPD crafted fourteen revisions to our policy; we communicated extensively with SHOPO’s General Counsel, and Union representatives, researched other jurisdictions to acquire best practices language, attended numerous seminars and workshops, conferred with our Human Resources Department, County Attorney’s Office, made presentations before the County Council, Police Commission, neighbor island cooperation counsels and prosecutors, police chiefs, local community members, prosecutor’s office, and Fifth Circuit Court Judges Randal Valenciano, Kathleen Watanabe, Edmund Acoba, and Trudy Senda.

But as with the implementation of something new, there will always be areas for improvement; we understand that concept and are willing to make essential modifications and adjustments as the need arises.

Fortunately, by careful crafting of our policy, many of the concerns listed below by the American Civil Liberties Union, defense attorneys, police unions, and the like have already been addressed:

  1. Privacy—State laws regarding recordings in public and private places
  2. Public Records—Hawaii’s laws concerning public disclosure (OIP)
  3. Data Storage and Retention—Security of storage and time limitations
  4. Chain of Custody—Protecting the integrity of video recordings
  5. Officer Discretion—When to activate and stop recordings
  6. Training—Initial training and continued review

I would like to give a heartfelt mahalo to all, and recognize and commend the following individuals who were instrumental in the development and implementation of the body-worn camera program:

Executive Assistant Chief Michael Contrades

Assistant Chief Robert Gausepohl

Captain Paul Applegate

Lieutenant Jon Takamura

Sergeant Jason Matsuoka

Officer Stacy Perreira

Officer Tyrus Contrades

Officer Troy Sakaguchi

Ms. Johnette Chun

Deputy County Attorney Mr. Nicholas Courson

Sergeant Tenari Maafala, SHOPO President

Sergeant James K. Smith, SHOPO Treasurer

Ms. Barbara Wong, SHOPO General Counsel

Mr. Norman Kato, SHOPO General Counsel

Detective Jesse Guirao, SHOPO Kauai Chapter Chair

Mr. Stanton Koizumi, SHOPO Kauai Business Agent

Questions for the Chief


On The Beat #16

Q: Dear Chief Perry

Also, perhaps you could emphasize the importance of wearing a helmet and brightly-colored riding apparel. These items both protect the rider and make bicyclists (and moped riders and motorcyclists!) easier to see.

As an avid bicyclist, I want to let the driving public know that I can hear vehicles coming up from behind me. I use a mirror so I can see them approach as well. The vast majority of drivers are courteous, and on behalf of all of Kauai's bicycle riders, I thank them for their good manners and kokua!


A: Thank you Ann. Regulations pertaining to bicycles come under Hawaii Revised Statutes 291C-141 through 291c-150.Basically, cyclists as well as motorist are afforded the same privileges with respect to the use of our roadways. But our laws under HRS 291C-142 also states that “Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” In other words, as a bicyclists I can’t run stop signs, red lights, ride in the opposite direction from traffic, exceed the posted speed limit, et cetera.

The same rules that apply to motorists apply to bicyclists as well. However, if a bicyclist is riding slower than the flow of traffic, he/she must stay to the right of the road. This does not mean that the bicyclist must ride into every pothole, or broken beer bottle.The bicyclist also has the right to avoid dangerous obstacles, but must signal their intentions prior to going around the obstacle to give fair warnings to the motorist.

With respect to helmets, HRS 291C-150 states that “No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a bicycle upon a street, bikeway, or any other public property unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet [that meets national standards].

Why should you wear a helmet? Well, I can tell you from personal experience that I would not be here today if I was not wearing a helmet on the day I crashed my bicycle. My tire hit a hidden object on the road and in a micro-second I was on the ground. I wasn’t going fast but the impact was so forceful that my helmet split in half. That could have been my head. Needless to say, I did have a slight concussion, but it could have been much, much worse.

A friend of mine was off from work for nine months with a fractured skull after a fall because he refused to wear a helmet and wanted to feel the wind in his hair. After recovering he still refused to wear a helmet, but that’s his choice. Actually, he was lucky to be alive.

I would strongly recommend that anyone who rides a bicycle, even if it’s only down the street or on the bike path, to wear a helmet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen parents with their children riding together like momma bear, poppa bear and little baby bear, and the only one wearing a helmet is little baby bear.

Don’t get me wrong, bicycling is a great sport and a great way to keep the pounds off, but like everything else, you have to be safe, and purchasing a helmet every couple of years is the best investment you’ll ever make. Your head is certainly worth $50.

And finally, wearing bright colored clothing is a must: Bright yellow, white, orange and any other color that brings attention to you will help the day-dreaming driver see you better. A vest with reflective material is the best of all, including lights when the sun goes down.

Q: Dear Chief Perry

Thank you for your calm and thoughtful response to the burial situation at Naue. I was told that the police had photographed and videotaped all those who assembled Tuesday morning. I was also told that some First Amendment cases forbid police from such actions as they could chill free speech. Could you please educate us about KPD's practice of photographing demonstrators?


A: Aloha Joan. Basically, if police are situated in an area open to the public, say on Rice Street or Alealea Road, we have the same rights as citizens to photograph and/or videotape the surroundings. But, there are certain expectations to privacy. For example, we can't videotape someone in their living room from the street, nor can we videotape someone in a public restroom. However, if you are on public domain like we were on Alealea Road, you temporarily relinquish that expectation of privacy. It’s similar to celebrities who get bombarded by paparazzi when in a public area.

With respect to taking pictures and videotaping the scene and people, remember that most were situated on public property. What about those individuals on private property? As law enforcement officers we are mandated/obligated to record the events of a potential crime if this could lead to a civil and/or criminal trial. The recording of an event affords the jury a true depiction of the events as it unfolded when presented in court. As an example, who could dispute the Rodney King beating seen on video? And as you already know, the accurate recordation of events is for the protection of citizens as well as the police to refute false or untruthful allegations.

For your information, in this situation, the 4th Amendment, Search and Seizure restrictions related to both the "Open" and "Plain" view doctrines do not apply because this was not a search. And with respect to our State Constitution, we did not invade anyone’s privacy.

Hope this helps...Chief Perry

Dear Chief Perry,
            On March 4, 2014, a fatality occurred that required the closure of Kuhio Highway in Kilauea at mile marker 21 for about six hours. Why can’t police clear the scene faster? Don’t you know that people missed their flights, and couldn’t get home? Kauai deserves better service than this.
Anonymous email
            I have addressed this concern over the past years, and we have improved our processing of scenes, but in some cases, due to the complexity of the event, more time is required.
            Below is an explanation I gave to a similar question about 5 years ago; and it holds true today. Also, until the State and/or County build alternate by-pass routes, communities will continue to face delays:
            This has been an on-going concern and I would venture to say that most jurisdictions are wrestling with the same issue. Early in my career I was a supervisor of a vehicle homicide team in Honolulu. Basically, the reason why roads are shutdown is to do a complete and thorough investigation. When these cases involve death or very serious bodily injury, police are mandated to treat the area as a crime scene. And as you know, these types of cases may be confined to a specific location, or stretch out for several miles (the longest crime scene I remember was about 6 miles long).
            I will not bore you with the complexities that are essential for this type of investigation, but I will tell you that our officers are highly trained in vehicle dynamics, accident reconstruction, crush analysis, recognizing induced versus contact damages, scale diagrams of the scene, speed calculations by determining coefficient of friction on the road surface, and the rest, not to mention information required of the injured parties, deceased person(s), witnesses, and suspect(s).
            In all cases, the victims and their families rely on the police to bring individuals who are responsible to justice. And frankly they deserve nothing less, because we, the police, are speaking for the victim, whose voice was silenced through someone’s negligence.
            Our investigators are very aware of the need to reopen the roadways as soon as possible and I can assure you that they are doing their very best to expedite the investigation. In addition, we continually explore more efficient methods to speed up the process so that the inconvenience to the public is minimized.
            The last thing I would want to do is to explain to the victim’s family that the reason for doing an incomplete investigation is because we had to reopen the crime scene prematurely. I know that you would agree with me, that on top of the grief the family is already experiencing, we, as a community, do not want to add a second injury.
Dear Chief Perry,
Q:        Recently there have been shooting incidents in schools, private companies, and other public venues where people are the most vulnerable. What is going on, and how do we keep safe?
A:        It is very difficult to assess what motivates an individual to commit such an act of violence. Historically we are familiar with the Xerox shooting on November 2, 1999. But more recently the Sandy Hook massacre involving elementary school children has brought home the fact that no place is sacred or completely safe from individuals with malice in their heart.
            For the past few years, the average active shooter incident was 5-15 per year, but experts predict an increase of 20-25 incidents annually.
So what do you do as a private citizen or government employee? 
There are certain things you should be made aware of, and questions you should ask so that you have a better chance for survival. First of all, you must prepare for the worse case scenario. While not inclusive, here are some considerations: 
1.            Within the organization, what safety measures or policies have been established to ensure your safety, and the safety of others?
2.            Are these policies practiced? Do you have evacuation drills? 
3.            Is there an escape plan?
4.            Are there dangerous choke points (meaning converging areas) that have been identified? 
5.            Is there a designated safe-room to barricade until help arrives?
Other preventive measures may be implemented to deter or at least minimize the risk to employees of government and/or private sector. As an example, consideration could be given to the hiring of security personnel and installation of a metal detector to preclude the possibility of firearms or other weapons entering into the premises. 
Hand-held metal detection wands may also be an option because they are less intrusive than a frisk.
I can assure you that in hostage situations and shootings of this nature, our Specialized Services Team are trained to respond appropriately to secure and if necessary, to neutralize the threat.  
While we will do everything in our power to keep you out of harm's way, you must, however, take responsibility for your own safety until we are able to respond.
Remember that the most dangerous thoughts are not that of the criminal—because their reality is distorted—it is instead the victim’s mindset of complacency believing that something as heinous as a shooting won’t happen here, and it won’t happen to me.
For additional information please view the link on our website related to active shooters.

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