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.
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:
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).
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).
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
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
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
For the past few years, the average active shooter incident
was 5-15 per year, but experts predict an increase of 20-25 incidents
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:
Within the organization, what safety measures or policies have
been established to ensure your safety, and the safety of others?
Are these policies practiced? Do you have evacuation
Is there an escape plan?
Are there dangerous choke points (meaning converging areas) that
have been identified?
Is there a designated safe-room to barricade until help
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
Hand-held metal detection
wands may also be an option because they are less intrusive than a
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
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
For additional information
please view the link on our website related to active shooters.