A state senate committee held a meeting on a prostitution bill that had been amended to retain an exemption allowing undercover cops to have sex with prostitutes in order to target pimps and johns for harsher penalties. Sex workers themselves would only be charged with misdemeanors under the bill.
"I suppose that in retrospect the police probably feel somewhat embarrassed about this whole situation… The police support the idea that sexual penetration shall not be an exempt permitted behavior by the police in making arrests on prostitutes."
State Sen. Clayton Hee, Hawaii Senate Judiciary Committee chairman
Honolulu police testified to the judiciary committee on March 26, saying that police should not be exempted from the law. They said officers have never been allowed to have intercourse with sex workers, so making it against the law would not effect their operations.
"It's a sad day when people can put that out there as something that one of the largest police departments in the nation that's accredited that we would condone anything like that… [Officers] never have sex with prostitutes."
Asst. Chief Susan Dowsett, Honolulu Police Dept.
Dowsett previously led the Honolulu Police narco-vice unit for a decade. She said anyone who alleges misconduct involving prostitution "is absolutely encouraged to come forward" to police officials, the state, or the FBI.
HPD: Undercover officers never have sex with prostitutes