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Riding with HPD

by Robin Hannson

 

Around 6:30 p.m., Police officer Glen Freitas, 30, pulled out from the Alapai Police station located at 801 South Beretania St. I was riding shotgun doing research for Kalamalama.
 

“We are going to our substation in Chinatown to see what’s going on,” Freitas said. As we passed Kukui Street, Freitas commented that, “This area is one of the worst areas in Honolulu when it comes to drugs and prostitution. It’s very hard for us to catch them. We have to see the money change hand to make an arrest. The drug dealers know the law as well as we do, so they’ll just stay out of sight,” Freitas said.

Asked why he became a Police officer, Freitas explained that he used to do social work with teenagers, and one day a friend of the family asked him if he wanted to join the force. “I felt I needed a change,” Freitas said, so he applied. “It’s nice to give back to the community,” he added.
After a quick dinner break, at the Chinatown substation, Freitas was dispatched to a stolen vehicle call on Pauahi Street, which turned out to be a wild goose chase.

A man and a woman were standing on the curb waiting for the police. The man explained in broken English that the woman left the green van there 15 minutes ago and now it’s gone. The woman, who seemed a little confused, nodded her head. A couple of Freitas’ colleagues pulled up to help if necessary.

Ten minutes later an A.P.B. (All Points Bulletin) was put out for the stolen green van. “Well, the car is probably half the way to Waimanalo right now,” one of Freitas’ colleague said. “Most of the time when a van is stolen like this it turns up in another investigation. They use them in crimes like breaking and entering,” He added. Later, Freitas received a call on his radio. “My colleague has found the car,” he said. As Freitas walked towards his car, he learned that the stolen vehicle was found around the corner. The officers were obviously amused. The woman looked embarrassed but apologized and thanked all the officers involved. “It happens sometime, you know, you just forget,” Freitas said.

So how do you become a Police officer? According to Freitas, the hardest part is to get accepted to the 28 month long Police Academy course. First you need a high school diploma Freitas said, and then they will put you through all kinds of tests, everything from English and a physical exam to a lie detector. “It’s like the SATs for cops,” Freitas said. “They’ll also look at your, and your family and friends criminal records. They dig as deep as they possible can,” Freitas added. He commented that a university degree might help an officer advance quicker. “I’ve only worked for a year,” Freitas said, “and I don’t want to rise in rank yet.”

Detective Takata, stationed at the Human Resources department, said that it doesn’t matter what kind of degree one got. The only difference is that an applicant with a college degree may be evaluated after three years, whereas, it takes five years before a promotion is for someone without a degree.

Anyone wanting to become a Police officer should consult an academic advisor for information about HPU’s justice administration program and other options.

 

 

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