Hawaii legislators Again Consider Making More Police Disciplinary Records Public

For the fifth straight year, there’s a bill to end the exemption for officers to a public records law that applies to everyone else.

The disciplinary records of all public servants in Hawaii  — except police officers — are available to the public.

Police disciplinary records can only be made public when an officer is fired. Suspensions, even lengthy ones, are not disclosed and the public can’t find out names and other details.

An amendment to House Bill 1849 passed Thursday would mandate the same disclosure of police officers’ disciplinary records as applied to other public employees. It would eliminate the requirement to conduct a case-by-case balancing test between “the public interest in disclosure” and “the privacy interests of the individual” that’s currently required. Read more…