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HPD officers arrested in Las Vegas


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POSTED: Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What happened in Vegas this weekend won't stay in Vegas for two Honolulu police officers, and that worries some fellow officers.

Police employees who asked to remain anonymous said they are concerned that their two colleagues, charged with various drug offenses, might have tarnished the reputation of the whole department, locally and nationally.

Officers Kevin Fujioka, 37, and Shayne Souza, 47, were arrested Saturday night after leading authorities on a short chase near Desert Breeze Park, about six miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said.

Scott Wilson, a 38-year-old social worker from Honolulu, also was arrested, Welling said yesterday.

Because of the serious charges, Honolulu police officials have initiated their own investigation.

“;If these allegations are true, these individuals should not be police officers, and they should not be supported by their fellow officers or their union,”; said Police Chief Boisse Correa. “;The police union has always said that it does not tolerate illegal drug use by its members. I hope that the union leadership will stand by its word in this case and do what is right for the community.”;

Tenari Maafala, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said, “;These officers obviously made a bad mistake ... and nobody else is more remorseful and regretful for what they've done.”;

He was quick to defend the department.

“;What these two officers have done is not a reflection of the entire police family,”; said Maafala, referring to the department's estimated 2,300 officers. “;One or two individuals do not make the department.”;

The two officers were off duty at the time and not traveling on department business, but policy still prohibits illicit drug use. Any officer who uses illegal drugs faces loss of police powers and termination. According to department policy, all officers are randomly tested.

Clark County police approached the men because the white van they were in was parked sideways across two spots in a parking lot, Welling said. As officers approached, the van drove off.

;[Preview]    Local police officers arrested in Vegas
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Honolulu police officers Kevin Fujioka and Shayne Souza were arrested this weekend in Las Vegas on suspicion of marijuana possession and resisting arrest.

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After a short pursuit, Souza and Fujioka got out of the van and ran from police, authorities said. Welling said officers pepper-sprayed Souza when he resisted arrest.

All three men were charged with marijuana possession, she said.

Fujioka also was charged with driving under the influence of a narcotic, and Souza was charged with drug paraphernalia possession, resisting a police officer and obstruction of justice. Wilson was charged with having an open alcohol container in a vehicle, Welling said.

Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu police, said Fujioka is a patrol officer assigned to the Pearl City district who has worked at the department 13 years, while Souza is a SWAT officer who has been with the department 20 years.

Welling said the men identified themselves as police officers from Honolulu.

Tom Wagner, president of the Nevada Police Athletic Federation, said the arrests happened during a men's softball tournament that was part of the 2009 Nevada Police & Fire Games. The five-day event of various sports and games involves about 2,000 police officers and firefighters from across the country. Fujioka and Souza were participants, Wagner said.

He said the arrests were “;shocking”; and that it is possible that the players and their team would not be invited to return to the games. “;It's unfortunate, but we definitely are going to be speaking to that coach and that police department and getting the story and deciding what our action will be as a federation.”;