Critical incidents involving police officers
are investigated to determine the presence or
absence of criminal liability on the part of
those involved in the critical incident.
A. Actor Officer: Any officer who discharges
a firearm toward a suspect and/or whose act is
a proximate cause of a fatal or serious bodily
injury to another person. Also, any officer who
intends that this act be a proximate cause of
fatal or serious bodily injury to another person
who is actually killed or injured by a third party.
B. Critical Incident Involving Honolulu Police
Department Police Officer(s): An event occurring
in Hawaii in which an officer, whether on or off
duty, acting under the color of his or her official authority:
1. Discharges a firearm at any suspect(s);
2. Becomes involved as an actor or custodial
officer when a fatal or serious bodily injury occurs; or
3. Sustains serious bodily injury or death.
C. Fatal Injury: Bodily injury that causes death.
D. Firearm: Any weapon, for which the operating
force is an explosive, including (but not limited
to) pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, automatic
firearms, noxious gas projectors, less-lethal weapons,
etc. (see Section 134-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes).
E. Police Officers: Employees who are commissioned
police officers, helicopter pilots, or volunteers who
are commissioned reserve police officers of the department.
F. Proximate Cause: Something that, in a natural
or continuous sequence, produces fatal or serious
bodily injury, without which the injury would not
have occurred. The reasonable, foreseeable nature
of the injury is not relevant to this definition,
which shall be used only to determine whether this
protocol applies or not.
G. Public Safety Statement: A statement provided
by the actor officer to the scene supervisor
immediately after a critical incident has occurred.
The Critical Incident Public Safety Statement, HPD-252B form,
shall be used (refer to the attachment).
H. Scene Supervisor: The first uninvolved, on-scene
supervisor (sergeant or above).
I. Serious Bodily Injury: Bodily injury which creates
a substantial risk of death or which causes serious,
permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment
of the function of any bodily member or organ.
J. Victim: The person who is killed or injured by
the actor’s actions, intentionally or not. In the
context of this policy, this word does not imply
the existence of criminality.
K. Witness Officer: Any officer who was present
at the time of the critical incident who is considered a witness.
EXAMPLES OF CRITICAL INCIDENTS
Examples of critical incidents include (but
are not limited to) the following:
A. Intentional and accidental firearm discharges
toward a suspect, including police tactical
incidents involving special response teams;
B. Intentional and accidental use of any other
dangerous or deadly weapons, including less-lethal
firearms resulting in fatal or serious bodily injury;
C. Attempts by police officers to make arrests
or to otherwise gain physical control for a law
enforcement purpose which results in fatal or
serious bodily injury;
D. Any fatal or serious bodily injury to a person
in police custody or who is a passenger of a police
officer, such as ride-alongs, emergency transports,
E. Any fatal or serious bodily injury to a person
who may be involved in a police vehicle pursuit or collision.
INVESTIGATIVE AGENCY, FORMAT, AND RESPONSIBILITIES
To properly accommodate the interests and rules
of law that may be involved in any incident,
investigations are performed under two separate
formats: criminal investigation and administrative
review. The criminal investigation has priority
over the administrative review and begins immediately
after an incident has been stabilized.
A. Criminal Investigation
1. The Criminal Investigation Division (CID)
is primarily responsible for pursuing criminal
charges that arise from the incident. The
Professional Standards Office’s (PSO) Criminal
Investigation Section personnel shall respond
and accompany the CID investigators or any
other agency that is responsible for investigating
that type of incident. The PSO shall initiate
a criminal case if facts are found that warrant
investigating the officer as a suspect.
2. Vehicular collisions resulting in a fatality
or serious bodily injury shall be investigated
by the Traffic Division’s Vehicular Homicide
Section investigators and coordinated by the PSO.
The PSO shall initiate a criminal case if facts
are found that warrant investigating the officer
as a suspect.
3. Procedures at the Scene
a. Medical Treatment
Emergency lifesaving measures have the
first priority and shall be administered
as soon as practicable.
If a victim/suspect is transported to a
hospital, an uninvolved officer should
accompany that injured victim/suspect in
the same vehicle in order to:
(1) Locate, preserve, safeguard, and maintain
the chain of custody regarding physical evidence;
(2) Obtain a dying declaration, a spontaneous
statement, a contemporaneous statement, and/or
a statement of then-existing or previous mental
or physical state (see Hawaii Rules of Evidence,
(3) Maintain custody if the victim/suspect
has been arrested;
(4) Provide information to medical personnel
about the incident relevant to the treatment.
Obtain information from medical personnel relevant
to the investigation; and
(5) Identify relevant people, including witnesses
and medical personnel.
b. Scene Preservation
The scene(s) must be secured immediately with a
perimeter established at a sufficient distance
away to safeguard evidence. In some circumstances,
inner and outer perimeters may be appropriate.
(1) Access to the scene(s) shall be limited to
only those officials who must enter for an
(2) A written log shall be established as
quickly as possible to identify all persons
entering and exiting the scene(s), the times
of their entry and exit, and the reason for
c. Recovery of Evidence
If any type of weapon or instrument was involved
in the critical incident, the scene supervisor
shall promptly see to the security and/or collection
of such items.
(1) If the scene is secure, loose weapons or
instruments shall be left in place and undisturbed.
(2) If the scene is not secure, the scene
supervisor shall determine whether the items
can be safely left in place or whether their prompt
removal is necessary. If such items must be
moved or removed for protection, they should
be photographed in place prior to removal.
(3) If an actor officer still has personal
possession of a weapon used in the incident,
the scene supervisor shall promptly, but
discreetly (i.e., in private and out of the
view of the public and other officers), obtain
possession of the weapon. He or she shall
also obtain the entire gun belt; side arms
should not be removed from their holsters.
When the Scientific Investigation Section (SIS)
is present at the scene, their personnel shall
recover the weapon, magazine, and ammunition
and the officer’s gun belt, if directed by the
(4) The scene supervisor shall promptly recover and
secure the body-worn cameras (BWC) from all of
the officers present during the incident.
When the PSO investigators arrive at the scene,
they shall obtain the BWCs from the scene supervisor.
d. Sequestering Officer(s)
Actor and witness officers shall be relieved
of their duties at the scene as promptly as possible.
(1) Actor officers shall be relieved first and
should be sequestered in the immediate area of
the scene to prevent the appearance of collusion.
(2) Witness officers should also be sequestered
at the scene.
(3) Police officers not involved in the critical
incident shall be assigned to accompany the
e. Public Safety Statement
(1) For a critical incident occurs, the
scene supervisor shall:
(a) Immediately obtain a public safety statement
utilizing the Critical Incident Public Safety
Statement, HPD-252B form;
(b) Read the warning to the actor officer(s)
without deviating from the specified questions;
(c) Immediately broadcast via radio that
the public safety statement was obtained;
(d) Document the answers provided in a police report; and
(e) Provide the Public Safety Statement
responses to the CID and/or PSO investigators
upon their arrival at the scene.
(2) The actor officer is not entitled to union
or legal representation when making this statement.
The statement shall not be delayed while waiting
for union or legal representation.
(3) After providing the Public Safety Statement,
the actor officer shall have the right to consult
with a State of Hawaii Organization of Police
Officers (SHOPO) representative and/or legal counsel.
This consultation shall not cause a delay in
providing the public safety statement.
(4) Peer Support Unit personnel and sequestered
officers shall not be present during confidential
or privileged conversations.
f. Personnel at the Scene
(1) With the permission of the lead investigator:
(a) A SHOPO representative or legal counsel shall
be allowed to enter and remain in the area of the
crime scene in order to assist the actor officer(s)
and criminal investigators;
(b) An uninvolved police officer or a member
of the Peer Support Unit may ensure that the
actor officer(s) has privacy and that their
needs are accommodated; and
(c) The police psychologist or designee shall
be allowed to enter and remain in the area of
the crime scene to provide support to the involved personnel.
(2) An assessment of evidence collection regarding
the actor officer shall be made. Evidence shall
be collected prior to any person engaging in any
activity that may destroy evidence.
(3) The Peer Support Unit, CID, or other uninvolved,
on-duty officers shall transport the actor officer(s),
(1) The scene supervisor shall respond to the
scene and immediately notify his or her watch
commander and the Communications Division of
(2) The watch commander shall also respond to
the scene and ensure that his or her element
commander, the CID, the PSO, the Peer Support
Unit, and the police psychologist have been
notified of the incident. The watch commander
may request that the Communications Division
assist with the notifications.
(3) The Communications Division shall follow
the notification procedures outlined in Policy
8.01, DEPARTMENTAL NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE; and
Policy 4.29, CRIME SCENE: INVESTIGATIVE
RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES.
Upon request, the Communications Division
shall also notify a SHOPO representative
(the Honolulu Chapter Chair; or if unavailable,
the Vice Chair; or if unavailable, the
designated district union representative).
The SHOPO representative(s), whether on or
off duty, shall not be required to leave the
area merely because of their union status.
h. Interviewing Officers
Assigned investigators and the actor officer’s
legal representative, if any, may be present at
To further assist in the investigation, actor
and/or witness officers may be asked to participate
in an interview.
(1) The officers being interviewed will be
considered witnesses or victims unless the
circumstances dictate otherwise.
(2) Police officers have the same rights and
privileges in criminal interviews as any other citizen.
(3) The officer shall be permitted to consult
with legal counsel prior to the interview.
(a) The legal counsel shall be allowed to
consult privately with only one officer at
a time about the facts of the incident.
(b) The contents of private conversations
between the officer and the representative
are not privileged unless the representative
is a doctor, lawyer, psychotherapist, priest,
or trained peer counselor.
(1) An actor officer shall be provided a
reasonable amount of time, not to exceed
four hours, to consult with their counsel
of choice or a union representative before
submitting a written report.
(2) Witness officer(s) and the scene supervisor
shall submit written reports to document their
involvement in the investigation.
(3) Unless otherwise authorized by the lead
investigator, officers shall submit completed
reports by the end of their work shift.
Exceptions may include (but are not limited
to) injury or extreme fatigue.
(4) All criminal investigators shall write
reports documenting their participation in
the investigation. The prompt collection
and distribution of the reports are essential.
B. Administrative Review
An administrative review shall be conducted,
and a report of the findings shall be submitted
to the Administrative Review Board (ARB).
If directed, the PSO shall conduct a detailed,
administrative investigation and submit its
findings to the Chief of Police via the ARB.
1. The administrative investigators will have
access to any briefing, scene(s), physical
evidence, and statements by persons interviewed.
SHOPO collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
provisions shall be followed (see Articles 12
and 48). If there is any conflict between this
policy and the SHOPO CBA, the latter shall prevail.
2. Administrative investigators are not
bound by the same investigative restrictions
that apply to criminal investigators.
3. Interview statements, physical evidence,
toxicology test results, and investigative
leads that are obtained by administrative
investigators by ordering police employees
to cooperate shall not be revealed to criminal
investigators. Other results of the administrative
investigation may or may not be privileged from
disclosure depending upon applicable law.
C. Administrative Leave
The actor officer shall be relieved
from field duty, and other officers may be
relieved from field duty. An actor officer
may request and shall be granted an administrative
leave for relief from duty of up to three working days.
1. An officer placed on administrative leave
shall not be construed to have acted improperly.
2. The actor officer shall be given the
opportunity to use the employee assistance and
counseling services provided by the department
prior to returning to his or her original assignment.
D. Return to Duty
An actor officer involved in a critical
incident shall be referred to the police
psychologist for evaluation by the element
commander. The officer shall not be
returned to full duty until debriefed by
the police psychologist.
1. An actor officer involved in a critical
incident that results in human death shall
be debriefed and evaluated for return to
duty by the police psychologist within 48
hours of the incident.
2. An actor officer involved in an incident
that does not result in human death shall
be debriefed by the police psychologist
within 72 hours of the incident.
3. In all cases, the actor officer’s element
commander or designee shall be responsible
for confirming that the actor officer has
been debriefed by the police psychologist.
4. If an officer’s duty pistol was recovered
during the investigation, the officer’s element
commander or designee shall ensure that the
officer has been issued a replacement pistol.
The element commander shall ensure that the
officer has qualified with the pistol before
returning to full duty.