Law Enforcement Careers in Hawaii

Because the state of Hawaii is made up of several islands the municipal and county divisions are different than in the rest of the United States. There are four main counties that roughly correspond to the main islands, and there are no smaller forms of governmental authority. In other words, there are technically no city police departments. Functionally though, the police forces for each county in Hawaii often times have a division headquarters in major areas of population, in effect a city police force.

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The following is a list of the official police departments and the areas they serve:

  • Hawaii Police Department: Hilo, Kailua Kona, Kalaoa
  • Maui Police Department: Kahului
  • Kauai Police Department: Kapaa, Lihue
  • Honolulu Police Department: Honolulu, Kaneohe, Mililani, Waipahu

Narcotics Enforcement Division

Police training for law enforcement jobs in Hawaii can be done at the state level. Under the control of the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, the Narcotics Enforcement Division offers careers that enforce the laws relating to regulated chemicals and controlled substances. They are responsible for control of the distribution, manufacture, dispensation, and prescription of controlled substances and their requisite essential chemicals.

Sheriff’s Department in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii has a sheriff’s department which conducts the business of typical sheriff’s departments found throughout the United States: protecting persons and property under the control or employ of the State Judiciary, providing secure transportation for people in custody, providing the execution and processing services of court documents, and the handling of detained persons. However untypically, the Hawaii Sheriff’s Department provides these services throughout the state, not on a sheriff’s department’s usual county level. Police training for law enforcement jobs in Hawaii is conducted at multiple levels of government.

Hawaii State Troopers

Hawaii is unique to be the only state in the country not to have an officially named state-wide law enforcement agency, despite the popular perception created by Hawaii Five-O. This is due to the non-contiguous nature of the state, which is made up of several islands. Instead, individual county departments fulfill this role on their islands of jurisdiction.

County Law Enforcement Departments in Hawaii

Law enforcement careers in Hawaii can be divided into four main police departments, each encompassing a different Hawaiian Island(s). Each island’s county police department fulfills its role as such, and additionally assumes the roles of what other states would delegate to the highway patrol agency and municipal police departments. Hawaii’s four main police departments are:

  • Hawaii Police Department: Recently officers arrested a 23-year-old Kona man who was charged with two counts of first-degree terrorist threatening.
  • Maui Police Department: Accepting applications year round, the MPD offers competitive salaries and many exciting job opportunities.
  • Kauai Police Department: In 2012 the KPD wrote over 8,000 moving violation tickets and 870 citations for people driving while talking or texting on their cell phones.
  • Honolulu Police Department: Originally created as Oahu County, Honolulu is now a consolidated city-county government with additional powers granted from a modified government structure. Over a recent weekend officers issued 152 citations to raise awareness for safe driving.

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