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Consumer Reports


Honolulu Police Dept. drops Creator from officers' oath

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (UPI) -- The oath that will be taken next week by the graduating class of the Honolulu police academy will not end with the phrase "So help me G-d" after the department acquiesced to a complaint from a group advocating the separation of church and state.

The city's police commission agreed to strike the familiar phrase that have been included in the oath since 1991, but are not included in the oath specified in the Hawaii state constitution, the Honolulu Star Bulletin said Tuesday.

The HPD issued a release Monday announcing the change, although it did not mention the complaint from the group Hawaii Citizens for Separation of Church and State.

"The Honolulu Police Department is committed to supporting and defending the Constitution and the laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of the state of Hawaii," the statement said. "As such, we will be using the oath of office that is printed in the state constitution for the upcoming graduation ceremony."

Hawaii's constitution contains a single oath that it says must be administered to all public employees with police powers. The complaint said that, according to a 1961 Supreme Court case, deviating from the constitution's oath amounted to a "religious test" for the new officers and is banned in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The removal of the words from the oath was the second time within a month that the police department gave in to a complaint from this group. They also removed a phrase from the Bible and a couple of poems containing religious content from its Web site. Meanwhile, the Hawaii Citizens for Separation of Church and State have a similar complaint pending with the fire department.

The HPD's 141st academy class graduates next Tuesday.

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