The Roots of the Honolulu Police Department
In 1840 a supreme court was formed in Hawaii and King Kamehameha III established the Hawaiian nation's first constitution.
On April 27, 1846 an Act to Organize the Executive Departments of the Government was was given final approval by King Kamehameha III. This Act established various Executive Judicial Officers.
The highest ranking officer was the Marshal of the Kingdom whose primary responsibilities were to nominate the Sheriffs and then to instruct, supervise and control them in the performance of their duties. The Act specified that the marshal shall recommend a sheriff for each of the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai and that the governors of each island would approve and appoint these sheriffs. These sheriffs would have supervisory control and directionof the constables appointed for their respective islands.
As of January, 1847, the Police Force consisted of two officers and thirty-four men. Their distinguishing marks were an insignia consisting of a scarlet crown bearing the initials "K.III" which they wore on the arm and a red band on their caps.
In January, 1893, after the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown, Hawaii was ruled by a provisional government.
In July 1894, Hawaii became The Republic of Hawaii.
In August 1898, Hawaii became the Territory of Hawaii after it was annexed by the United States, and operated under a Constitution known as the Organic Act.
In 1905, four county governments were established in the Territory. Each would have its own police department headed by an elected sheriff.The octagon-shaped police badge used in the 1880's through the 1920's was similar in appearance to those of other police departments of that period. In the 1920's the badge was redesigned with an eagle on top.