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A free University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges course could help boost qualified unemployed Oʻahu residents toward a job with a starting salary that tops $70,000. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is continuously recruiting qualified women and men to join its ranks. Starting pay (including standard of conduct pay) is more than $73,000.

Successful completion of the Honolulu Police Exam is one of the requirements for HPD applicants. The Honolulu Police Exam Preparation Course is one of about 50 free UH Community College classes being offered through Oʻahu Back to Work, a rapid response employment training program for Oʻahu residents who are struggling to find employment.

Honolulu Police Department training class

“It’s very rewarding,” HPD Sgt. Brandt Tsuha said about serving as a Honolulu police officer. “Great retirement, great benefits, great job satisfaction as far as what you get to do each day, helping people, serving the community, enforcing laws, all those kinds of things that come with the job, and as far as flexibility, to me it’s unmatched.”

There are also other possible motivations to join.

“If you see things in the police department that you don’t like or in your community, then I would encourage you to apply and try to become an officer to be a part of that change to make things better,” said Tsuha. “We’re not a perfect entity. There’s always room for improvement, and we always look for new ideas and new people to help us progress and be better.”

There are currently more than 300 vacancies at HPD. Although there are almost 150 recruits in some form of training, more vacancies are expected annually with end-of-the-year retirements. Passing the entry-level police exam is part of an application process that includes a physical readiness assessment, a personal history statement, fingerprinting and background investigation.

Minimum qualifications for an HPD recruit include:

  • At least 21 years old by graduation from the police academy
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Meets federal and state firearms possession requirements
  • Vision and hearing requirements
  • High school diploma, general education diploma or equivalent
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. national or legal permanent resident
  • Meets other selection standards related to a background investigation

The Oʻahu Back to Work Honolulu Police Department Exam Preparation course is offered online on Mondays and Wednesdays, 5–6:30 p.m. November 8–December 15. Free tuition and textbooks are included. Go to the Oʻahu Back to Work website to apply and for a complete list of free classes. Oʻahu Back to Work is a collaboration of the UH Community Colleges, UH Mānoa Outreach College and the City and County of Honolulu.

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