How to Find Public Police Records in the State of Hawaii?
Public records are those records administered by the government. Documents and information maintained by the government are open for public inspection. Through public records, the government can be transparent and accountable for all the information and data they have collected. The public records can be stored digitally, electronically or on paper.
Public Records in the State of Hawaii:
In Hawaii, the Office of Information Practices (OIP) ensures that the government is open and transparent while maintaining individual privacy. For this purpose, the OIP administers the Uniform Information Practice Act (UIPA). Codified as chapter 92F of the Hawaiian Revised Statutes, UIPA allows an individual to access the open government records. The Act also enables them to correct or modify their personal records maintained by the government.
As per the UIPA, all government records should be open to public scrutiny. The information can be in either auditory, written, visual, physical or electronic form. This includes maps, images, paper documents/forms, CDs, DVDs, computer databases, digital media, tape recordings, and microfiche. Some of the records open to the public are criminal records, police records, court records, vital records, property records, etc.
Public Police Records in the State of Hawaii:
Police records refer to the documents and information administered by the police department. According to the UIPA of the Hawaiian Revised Statutes Chapter 92F - 13, most of the reports maintained by the Hawaiin State Police Department are accessible by the general public, as long as they meet the criteria of the Act. Personal records or records that impeach individual privacy are not disclosed by the Police Department.
As mentioned above, not all information is disclosed in police reports. In order to ensure the privacy of the person in the police records, their name, home addresses, date of birth, social security number and contact details will be redacted, i.e. blacked out.
There are three types of records maintained by the Hawaiin Police Department. They are:
1. Criminal Police Records:
Criminal police records are accessible by the general public only after the criminal case is completed closed. The criminal records will generally include the details on the criminal investigation by the police, arrest warrants, and criminal history. However, some details will be redacted in accordance with chapter 92F-13 of the Hawaiian Revised Statutes.
2. Motor Vehicle Collision (MVC) Records:
The MVC reports are available only to the parties of interest. These reports are made available 7 days after the accident.
3. Miscellaneous Public Records:
Miscellaneous reports are only available to those individuals who can provide report details to identify the records. Medical and juvenile records are confidential and require a subpoena or court order for release.
Finding Public Police Records in the State of Hawaii:
An individual can request for a police record from the Hawaiian Police Department in one of the following ways:
- Walk-in: The requestor can visit the district police stations for the public police records. They will have to fill in the required details at the station, They may also have to submit a birth or death record if required. The requestor will have to visit the police station is ready to be picked. In case another person is picking up the record on behalf of the requestor, they will be required to provide a letter of authorization.
- Via Mail: The requestor can mail a written request to the Records and Identification Section of the Hawai'i Police Department. The request will include the requestor's contact details, signature, the information they require and a stamped envelope with their address. The request will be mailed only when the requisite fees are received by the department.
The Hawaiin Police Department charges a dollar for the first page of the report and an additional 0.25 cents for every additional page. Additional charges may be levied for records sent via mail. Normally, the requested records will take 10 working days to be processed.