Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Saturday, April 24, 1999

ID is needed
to assure info
is accurate

Question: When you go to the Honolulu Police Department station to bail someone out, there are cameras outside, taking pictures of you before they let you in. So why, when I went to bail out my brother, did they ask for my ID and take it for 15-20 minutes? Even after my brother came out, they kept it. They had me on camera and everything was paid in cash, since they don't take checks. I'm no criminal, but they made me feel like a criminal. Also, that place is so filthy. Why don't they clean it up?

Answer:You are asked for an ID to make sure that accurate information is put on the bail receipt, said HPD Maj. Jeffrey Owens, of the Central Receiving Division.

However, "if a person does not want to provide any identification, it's not mandatory," he said. "Anybody can walk in and say I want to bail out Joe Blow" and just post the bail amount. "We don't force the issue."

Asked what would account for your ID being kept for such a long time, Owens said he could only guess the officers were busy with other people at the time.

Because "a lot of money" often is involved, only one officer at a time is responsible for handling bail money, Owens said. That bail officer will "get the information and ID and go to the back, to the turnkeys, who operate the detaining area."

Only turnkeys are allowed to release someone.

"Sometimes the turnkeys could be busy because they're processing somebody through or dealing with a disorderly person. It should be the exception and not the rule, but there might be a delay," Owens said.

He also acknowledged the bail area can get trashy. The janitorial staff does try to keep the place clean and they clean regularly," he said, "but it would be very helpful if the people who come to bail somebody out and the people who get bailed out would refrain from throwing their trash on the ground and use the provided trash receptacles."


JPOs and traffic monitors

Last Saturday's item about the JPO program at Waialae School said the school is seeking both a traffic monitor and JPO adviser.

The Honolulu Police Department has funding for 160 traffic monitors, who are paid $9.45 an hour for two hours of work per school day -- one hour before school and one hour after school, said Sgt. William Luat, who oversees the traffic safety, JPO and traffic monitor program.

"We service elementary schools where we feel there is a need" and at critical crossings, not every corner, he said. Positions at Waialae, Kahala and Benjamin Parker schools currently are vacant.

Monitors must pass criminal background checks and hearing and vision tests. They then undergo a half day of training at the police station, plus on-site orientation.

Luat emphasized there is a distinction between a JPO advisor, a volunteer who supervises the students, and a traffic monitor, who usually stands at a street crossing not watched by JPOs. Monitors do not supervise JPOs, he said.

If you're interested, check the classified ads at the end of the school year, he said. Monitors are usually hired after a school year ends for the following year.

It's too late to fill the currently vacant positions.



To a kind gentleman who stopped to help us with a flat tire in the fast lane, near the Punahou Street cutoff on Tuesday, March 30. May you be watched upon as we were! -- S&F Cabigon

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