“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.