The Hawaii Police Department and the U.S. Army Garrison-Pohakuloa last week formalized a training agreement.
The agreement allows HPD officers to use firing ranges and other areas at Pohakuloa Training Area on Saddle Road, while allowing PTA’s police force to sit in on training courses HPD offers, PTA spokesman Bob McElroy said Monday.
“The better they know each other, the better they can work together,” McElroy added. “It creates a safer place for all of us.”
McElroy said Pohakuloa has pistol, rifle and shotgun firing ranges police can use to qualify on their individual weapons.
Hawaii Police officers can also use the shoot house to practice room clearing techniques while firing live ammunition.
Pohakuloa police officers will be able to attend classes to study such topics as radar and LIDAR, arrest control techniques, verbal judo, which is also described as tactical communications, and others with the department in Hilo.
The agreement, signed Oct. 31, took effect immediately, McElroy said.
“We’ve worked with the Hawaii Police Department for a long time,” he added. “This agreement is an update of a running agreement with the department.”
Police Chief Harry Kubojiri said the department’s Special Response Team will be able to train with “a myriad” of weapons on the military base. That’s especially good for the department because of the lack of qualified firing ranges on the island, he said, adding he doesn’t anticipate trying to schedule weapons certification for all officers at PTA.
“It will improve the proficiency for our SRT officers,” he added.
The agreement between the department and the Army will allow HPD officers on the base when the military is not using it for training, Kubojiri said.
“As part of the Big Island community, it only makes sense that HPD uses the ranges at Pohakuloa Training Area,” Pohakuloa commander Lt. Col. Eric Shwedo said in a written statement Monday. “The police officers have an important and sometimes dangerous job, supporting their training is important to us.”