Officers of the Honolulu Police Department
shall be guided by this directive regarding
investigative responsibilities and procedures
for crime scenes and for the investigation
of death cases and certain specific crimes.
Basic support units (BSUs) and technical support
units (TSUs) are as designated herein.
A. Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
1. The CID shall be responsible for investigating the following:
a. All felonies, exclusive of those that are
specifically designated for other divisions as
listed in section II of this directive;
b. Cases involving missing persons, escapees, and prison contraband;
c. All family abuse (child, spouse, and elderly
abuse), custodial interference, and endangering
the welfare of a minor cases; and
d. All misdemeanor Prohibited Firearms/Ammunitaion cases.
2. The CID shall dispatch a detective(s) to the
scene of a major or unusual crime.
3. If an incident occurs outside of normal
duty hours, the on-duty CID lieutenant shall be
responsible for notifying the on-call Professional
Standards Office (PSO) lieutenant of any cases
that are within the jurisdiction of the PSO as
listed in section I H of this directive.
4. In incidents where a departmental employee
is the accused, the CID shall assist the PSO’s
Criminal Investigation Section upon request.
5. In human death cases, except for those
resulting from motor vehicle collisions in which
a departmental employee is a suspect, the Homicide
Detail, CID, shall assist the PSO’s Criminal
Investigation Section upon request.
B. Patrol District Burglary-Theft Detail
1. A patrol district’s burglary-theft detail is responsible for investigating crimes of burglary, theft, Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree, and Criminal Property Damage in the First and Second Degree in the district to include cases where an arrest has not been made. The exceptions are those cases where property crime is not a motive.
2. From Monday through Friday between the hours of 0715 to 1530, excluding holidays, a patrol district’s burglary-theft detail is responsible for investigating all arrests for crimes of burglary, theft, Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree, Criminal Property Damage in the First and Second Degree, Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle in the First Degree in which a moped or a vehicle is not required to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and Habitual Property Crime offenses in the district. The exceptions are those cases where property crime is not a motive.
3. When an Unauthorized Possession of Confidential Personal Information, a Fraudulent Use of Credit Card, and/or Forgery occurs, it shall be the investigative responsibility of the CID’s Financial Crimes Detail.
C. Patrol District Misdemeanor Follow-up Detail (MFUD)
The patrol district’s MFUD or misdemeanor follow-up
officer shall be responsible for investigating all
misdemeanor and status offenses in each district,
with the following exceptions:
1. Theft cases are investigated by the burglary-theft detail;
2. Abuse of Family or Household Members (AFHM)
cases, as outlined by Section 709-906, Hawaii Revised
Statutes (HRS), are investigated by the following CID details:
a. The Domestic Violence Detail, when the AFHM
case involves the following:
(1) Victim of the domestic violence is
18 years of age or older; or
(2) Endangering the welfare of an incompetent
person, 18 years of age or older, as outlined
in Section 709-905, HRS.
b. The Child Abuse Detail, when the AFHM case
involves the following:
(1) Victim is under 18 years of age;
(2) Endangering the welfare of an Incompetent Person, under
18 years of age, as outlined in Section 709-905, HRS;
(3) Endangering the Welfare of a Minor; or
(4) Custodial Interference.
3. Traffic offenses are investigated by the
Vehicular Homicide Section (VHS) of the Traffic Division;
4. Narcotics offenses are investigated by the
5. Sex assault in the fourth degree, indecent
exposure, and open lewdness offenses are investigated
by the Sex Crimes Detail of the CID;
6. Arson and explosive device cases are
investigated by the Major Crimes Detail of the CID;
7. Misdemeanor cases that are part of a felony
investigation shall be the responsibility of the
assigned felony investigative unit;
8. All credit card offenses are investigated by the Financial Crimes Detail of the CID; and
9. All computer-related offenses are
investigated by the Financial Crimes Detail
of the CID, with the exception of computer
crimes related to sexual offenses, which are
investigated by the Sex Crimes Detail of the CID.
D. Narcotics/Vice Division
The Narcotics/Vice Division shall be responsible
for investigating narcotics, gambling, and morals
offenses. In narcotics, gambling, and morals cases
involving a departmental employee, the Narcotics/
Vice Division shall assist the PSO’s Criminal
Investigation Section upon request.
E. Specialized Services Division (SSD)
The SSD shall support the investigation of bomb
threats, escapes, and other offenses related to
its area of specialization.
1. The VHS shall be responsible for investigating
all motor vehicle collisions involving death or serious
bodily injury and all probable felonious motor vehicle collisions.
a. During the preliminary stage of the
investigation, if the VHS supervisor determines
that the collision was the result of a suicide,
homicide, or other suspicious circumstances or
if the vehicles involved in the collision are
part of another felony investigation (e.g.,
robbery, auto theft, etc.), the CID will be notified.
Upon confirmation that the CID will respond, further
investigation shall be suspended pending the arrival of the CID.
(1) When a case is accepted by the CID, the VHS
and CID personnel shall coordinate their investigations
to ensure that the VHS obtains the details required
for its investigation without hampering or destroying
evidence pertinent to the CID investigation.
If there is a conflict during the investigative
process, the CID investigation shall take precedence.
The VHS supervisor shall apprise the CID investigator
of what will be required to complete the VHS
investigation so it can be obtained later.
(2) When a case is not accepted by the CID,
the VHS will continue its investigation of the
collision. If the results of the completed
investigation show that the collision was not
accidental, the incident shall be reclassified
and the VHS shall again confer with the CID.
b. The VHS shall assist the PSO’s Criminal
Investigation Section upon request in two kinds
of motor vehicle collisions involving a departmental
employee as a suspect: (1) collisions involving
death or serious bodily injury and (2) probable
felonious motor vehicle collisions.
3. The VHS shall review the motor vehicle
collision investigation reports and conduct or
refer the necessary follow-up investigations.
G. Criminal Investigation Section, PSO
The PSO’s Criminal Investigation Section shall
be responsible for investigating:
1. All allegations of departmental employees’
involvement in criminal activities;
2. All incidents involving the discharge of
firearms by departmental employees with the exception
of department-sanctioned training and practice.
The PSO’s Criminal Investigation Section shall
respond to and investigate incidents of firearm
discharges along with any other element that is
responsible for investigating that type of
incident (e.g., the CID); and
3. All cases involving deaths while in police
custody. The PSO’s Criminal Investigation Section
shall respond to and investigate along with any
other element that is responsible for investigating
that type of incident (i.e., the CID).
The PSO’s Criminal Investigation Section may call
upon units within or outside of the department to
assist in any investigation.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT UNITS
A. Communications Division
The Communications Division shall assist in
notifying the appropriate BSU(s) and TSU(s)
when there is no other means by which the
field unit at the scene is able to contact the unit(s).
B. Scientific Investigation Section (SIS)
The SIS shall provide evidence specialists to
support investigations at felony crime scenes
as well as crime laboratory services.
CRIME SCENE RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Field Units
1. Offenses reported to or observed by
patrol units shall be actively investigated
under the supervision of the commander in charge of the watch.
2. The responding field unit shall be
responsible for caring for the injured,
preserving life, preserving the scene, and
providing the support units with the appropriate information.
3. The responding field unit shall
maintain command of the crime scene until
properly relieved by the appropriate BSU
or until the crime scene is properly released.
4. The responsible, on-scene field unit
supervisor shall continue to direct and
supervise field personnel at the scene and
ensure that the support units are apprised of the situation.
B. Support Units
1. Whenever specialized skills are
required, the appropriate BSU(s) and/or
TSU(s) shall respond to the scene. Until
then, the patrol supervisor shall be responsible.
Exception: When it is mutually agreed upon
by the appropriate BSU and the on-scene field
unit supervisor that the BSU is not needed at
the scene, the BSU need not respond.
2. The BSU shall accept cases that have
been classified as part of its particular area
of responsibility. If it is later determined
that the case should be reclassified, the
assigned investigator shall initiate the
reclassification process and shall not direct
any field personnel to process the reclassification.
3. When an investigative element accepts
responsibility for a case, no further action
shall be taken without the concurrence of the
4. The investigator shall channel any
instructions or directions to field personnel
through the on-scene field unit supervisor.
Exception: In the absence of a field unit
supervisor, the investigator may instruct/
direct the field personnel.
5. Nonresponse of the BSU or TSU
a. Whenever a support unit refuses to
respond to a request, the field unit
supervisor at the scene shall write a To/
From report to his or her bureau chief.
The report shall include the nature of
the request and the BSU’s or TSU’s reason
for nonresponse. The field unit shall be
responsible for pursuing the investigation.
2. Officers responding to the crime scene
shall report the following:
a. Date and time of arrival at the scene;
b. Location of the crime;
c. Name of victims and suspects, if known;
d. Action taken at the scene (e.g., statements
taken, persons questioned, number of photographs
taken, measurements, observations, etc.);
e. List of physical evidence recovered; and
f. Case file reference number.
3. Technical support personnel responding to
the crime scene shall report the following:
a. Date and time of request;
b. Name of the investigating officer;
c. Disposition of physical evidence; and
d. Action taken at the scene (e.g., number
of photographs taken, measurements, etc.).
b. The BSU or TSU that does not respond
to a field unit request shall document the
refusal in its basic support unit log and
submit a To/From report to the Investigative
Bureau chief. The report shall include the
nature of the request and the reason for nonresponse.
C. Chain of Command
In order to maintain control, the chain of
command at a major crime scene shall be:
1. The officer in charge of the BSU
responsible for the case investigation in
the following order: major, captain, lieutenant,
detective/sergeant, metropolitan police corporal,
and metropolitan police officer; and
2. The officer in charge of the patrol
division responding to the scene, in the
following order: major, captain, lieutenant,
sergeant, metropolitan police corporal, and
metropolitan police officer.
D. Activity Reports
1. When directed to do so by the field
unit supervisor or investigator in charge,
an officer participating at or in any
subsequent investigation of a major crime
(e.g., death under unusual circumstances,
sex offense, or other felony) shall submit
an activity report containing details of
the investigative action.
PROCEDURES AT A CRIME SCENE
A. Field Units
1. The first officer at the scene shall
assume command of the scene until the
arrival of a field unit supervisor.
2. Any officer responding to a crime scene
shall perform necessary tasks, which include
but are not limited to:
a. Caring for the injured;
b. Ensuring preservation of the crime scene;
c. Assessing the situation and requesting
additional field personnel if necessary;
d. Requesting that the appropriate BSU(s)
and/or TSU(s) be notified;
e. Obtaining names, addresses, and statements
of parties and witnesses.
However, felony suspects should not be interviewed; and
f. Ensuring that information for an all-points
bulletin contains details concerning the suspect(s),
their mode of transportation, direction of flight,
weapon(s), and any other details that may contribute to apprehension.
3. The assigned beat officer shall complete a
proper and thorough investigative report.
4. The field unit supervisor shall:
a. Assume control of the crime scene;
b. Determine the number of field officers that
should be assigned to the case, then request
adjustment as necessary;
c. Determine if:
(1) The case was properly classified; and
(2) Notification was made to the appropriate
support unit(s) and initiate adjustment as necessary.
Unless there is substantial evidence to indicate
otherwise, the VHS shall be the primary investigative
unit notified whenever a motor vehicle collision occurs;
d. Transfer command and investigation of the
crime scene upon arrival of the BSU;
e. Provide information about the case to the responding BSU;
f. Assist the assigned investigator and direct
activities of any patrol officers participating in the case;
g. Ensure that a proper and thorough investigative
report is completed; and
h. Establish and/or review elements for probable
cause to make an arrest as appropriate.
B. Support Services
1. The appropriate BSU and/or TSU shall respond
when requested by the field unit supervisor.
2. The responding BSU shall assume command of
the crime scene and follow investigative procedures
as provided in the applicable manual of operations.
a. The responsible investigator shall reclassify the case when necessary.
b. The responsible investigator shall direct
field personnel through the on-scene field unit supervisor.
3. The responding TSU shall follow procedures
as provided in the applicable manual of operations.
A. General Procedures
1. Officers will be sent to all death cases.
Any death resulting from violence, or as the result
of any accident, or by suicide, or when the person
was in apparent good health, or when unattended by
a physician, or in a prison, or in a suspicious or
unusual manner, or within 24 hours after admission
to a hospital or institution, shall be under the
jurisdiction of the medical examiner.
a. Every effort shall be made to contact the
family physician to make the pronouncement of death.
b. In the event that the family physician does
not make the pronouncement of death, the city and
county physician shall be contacted.
c. Any telephonic pronouncement of death shall
be so recorded with the names of the emergency
medical technicians at the scene and the physician
making the pronouncement.
2. In death cases where the victim is
skeletonized, decomposed, or decapitated, the
medical examiner shall retain jurisdiction and
be responsible for the pronouncement of death.
If skeletal remains appear to be older than 50
years, the State Historic Preservation Division,
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR),
must also be notified. See section V B 2 b below.
B. Death Scene Procedures
1. First Officer at the Scene
The first officer to arrive at the scene shall
be responsible for the following:
a. Classifying the case as either an unattended
or attended death;
b. In unattended death cases, notifying the CID,
appropriate BSU, and Medical Examiner/ Coroner’s Office;
c. In attended death cases, investigating the
scene to ensure that no foul play was involved.
The officer shall ascertain if the person was under
a physician’s care for a known ailment and that the
physician is willing to sign the death certificate;
Officers do not have to remain at the scene once the
case has been determined to be an attended death; and
d. In all death cases, preparing a police report.
2. BSU Investigator
a. Whenever the medical examiner takes custody
of a body, a detective shall be assigned to investigate
the circumstances of death.
(1) The investigator may hold any of the decedent’s
personal property as evidence until final judgment is
rendered if the case is to be tried. The assigned
investigator shall transmit an inventory list of all
such items to the medical examiner.
(2) When a case is to be tried, the investigator
may hold the decedent’s personal property as evidence
until final judgment is rendered.
b. When human skeletal remains are discovered and
the remains appear to be more than 50 years old, the
discovery must be reported to the State Historic
Preservation Division, DLNR.
(1) Police officers shall cease all activity in the
immediate area of the discovery site until a further
examination of the remains can be made.
(2) Police officers shall notify the Communications
Division of the discovery and request that the State
Historic Preservation Division, DLNR, be notified.
(3) The Communications Division shall contact the
State Historic Preservation Division, DLNR, from
a current listing of telephone numbers maintained
in the Communications Division.
(4) A representative from the DLNR shall view the
discovery site and make a determination for the handling
of the remains. In cases where the remains appear to be
more than 50 years old, jurisdiction of the remains and
associated items lies with the DLNR. In other cases, the
medical examiner shall retain jurisdiction.
3. Identification Photograph and Fingerprinting
In all death cases of a criminal nature within the medical
examiner’s jurisdiction, an evidence specialist of the SIS
shall be notified and shall fingerprint the decedent.
Photographs will be taken upon request of the assigned detective.
Exception: The VHS shall photograph the decedent in traffic death cases.
4. Medical Examiner
a. According to Section 841-12, HRS, the medical
examiner shall be responsible for removal of the body,
except in those instances cited in section V B 2 b above.
b. Section 841-15, HRS, requires that the medical
examiner be responsible for notifying the next of
kin through any necessary means.
c. The medical examiner must promptly deliver copies
of all reports for deaths that required police response
to the prosecuting attorney and the Chief of Police.
d. The medical examiner is responsible for the
disposal of all property of a deceased person (including
that found on the body, in the home, etc.)
e. In the event that the medical examiner encounters
any difficulty in notifying the next of kin, assistance
may be requested through the Communications Division and,
if necessary, a police field unit supervisor may make the notification.
C. Specific Death Cases
1. Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty
a. The officer in charge of the investigation
shall be responsible for promptly notifying the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
b. The FBI will assist in the investigation if its
assistance is requested in writing.
2. Motor Vehicle Collisions
a. The interior of the vehicle and the area in and
around the accident scene shall be carefully checked
for property items.
b. The VHS investigator shall complete and submit
a property inventory for deceased person form.
a. Recovery and preservation of any suicide note
shall be the responsibility of the following in the listed order of priority:
(1) Evidence specialist;
(2) CID investigator; and
(3) Officer assigned to the case.
b. Strict rules of evidence handling shall be
followed in handling the suicide note.
c. The suicide note shall be carefully handled
and placed, preferably, in a plastic bag.
d. The person responsible for recovering the
suicide note shall immediately photocopy (through
the plastic bag) or photograph it and send copies to
the CID and the medical examiner.
4. Deaths While in Police Custody
a. In cases involving deaths while in police
custody, the PSO’s Criminal Investigation Section
shall be notified.
b. Proper crime scene procedures and the
prescribed notification procedures shall be followed.
c. As soon as practicable, the CID’s Homicide
Detail lieutenant shall notify the Department
of the Prosecuting Attorney.
5. Death of Incarcerated Persons
a. Upon notification of death of a person
under incarceration, the on-duty CID lieutenant
shall be notified.
b. The on-duty CID lieutenant shall
notify the CID’s Homicide Detail lieutenant of the incident.
Refer to Policy 4.20, SEX CRIME INVESTIGATIONS,
for procedures regarding the investigation of sexual assault cases.