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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 24, 2001

Police Beat

Advertiser Staff

Drunken driving suspected in crash

A 25-year-old man driving a pickup truck escaped with only minor injuries but faces drunken-driving charges after he veered off the road at Waikele Shopping Center yesterday morning, plummeting about 20 feet into the parking lot, where an Office Max van broke his fall.

The driver, in a 1995 Toyota truck, was traveling kokohead down Lumi'aina Street when he ran off the road, said a patrol officer who witnessed the 3:45 a.m. accident from nearby Waikele Park.

The truck smashed through a guard railing and the store's covered van before ending up on its roof in the parking lot.

Police conducted a breath test and arrested the driver, a Mililani resident, before taking him to Pali Momi Medical Center. He received stitches for a cut on his back.

HPD resolves safety issue

A staffing shortage that the police union said jeopardized Honolulu police officers' safety has been resolved, and the union dropped a potential lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department and the city, according to a union member.

Lee Donohue, Honolulu Police Department chief, assured the union that it will have at least 80 percent staffing on patrol beats, said Alexander Garcia, chairman of the O'ahu chapter's board of directors.

HPD acknowledged occasional shortages on patrol beats, but police officials said they were taking steps to fill them and assured the officers that their safety would not be jeopardized.

Donohue earlier said that occasional shortages happen when officers appear in court, attend training, get sick or go on vacation. He said at no point have the occasional shortages jeopardized the safety of the officers or the public.

The department has an authorized strength of 1,260 officers, and in June the department had 1,142 officers assigned to field operations, said HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu.

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers represents all islands, including more than 1,900 O'ahu police officers with the ranks of lieutenant and below.

HPD welcomes officer from Japan

The first female police officer from Japan to participate in the Honolulu/Japan Officer Exchange Program will observe HPD's solo bike training Wednesday, the Honolulu Police Department announced.

Earlier this month, Senior Police Officer Tamiko Nagano toured various HPD divisions and met local government officials. She also observed police operations aimed at reducing crimes against visitors.

Nagano is assigned to the Okinawa Prefectural Police and began her police career in 1997. She was a Motorcycle Unit officer before her promotion to senior officer. She studied English literature in junior college.