Sheriffs have same authority as the police


POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Question: I've noticed that public safety officers — sheriffs — are starting to make more road stops for traffic violations. I saw one last week on South Street and another one in downtown Honolulu. When did the sheriffs have powers to do that?

Answer: Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs have long had authority to issue traffic citations.

They are sworn law enforcement officers who have the same authority as police officers.

The Sheriff Division has a unit stationed at Honolulu Airport, so deputy sheriffs routinely will patrol Lagoon Drive and other streets in that area, noted Louise Kim-McCoy, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Safety.

While they do not patrol other areas, they might be driving to go to court, for example, she said.

“;If they see a motorist violating a traffic law while en route to some place, they have the ability and police powers to pull that motorist over and cite that motorist,”; Kim-McCoy said.

They're not on the roads looking for violations, as a police officer might, but if they do see a clear violation, “;they have the duty and responsibility to pull that person over,”; she said.

Q: Somebody called me with a telephone number to block telemarketers from calling my cell phone. This person got the information off the Internet. The number given was (888) 382-1222. Is this a legitimate number that's being provided to the public?

A: Yes.

That's the number for the national Do Not Call Registry, where you can register your home and personal cell phone numbers. You can register online at

Registration is free, and it will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls.

Meanwhile, we continue to get queries about e-mails warning people that they will start getting a slew of telemarketing calls on their cell phones because of a new phone number database.

As we've reported in the past and as the Federal Communications Commission continues to advise, that is not true.

FCC regulations prohibit telemarketers from calling cell phones using automated dialers.

Q: Farrington Highway in Makaha between Kili and Water streets has new waterlines. Some of the trenches crossing the highway were repaved but have since settled badly and deliver a jolt when drivers cross them. Will the contractor repair those with a proper job of backfill and compaction?

A: The repaving work has been deemed “;acceptable,”; so the contractor does not have to do anything else, according to Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Su Shin.

“;Both our construction inspector and the state Department of Transportation's inspector checked these waterline trenches (recently), and they both determined that the trench repaving is acceptable,”; she said.



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