HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2,500 employees at the Honolulu Police Department have a new boss. Louis Kealoha was sworn in today as police chief. The former captain beat out five other finalists to win the top cop job.
Louis Kealoha is just 49 year old and has worked for the department more than half his life. He is also smart with four graduate degrees including a doctorate from USC and plans to use his brains to backup the badge.
Louis Kealoha became the 10th police chief of the Honolulu Police Department. His wife Kathy and daughter Kristina pinned on his new badge and he put pen to paper to sign for the job. Then he addressed those that have pinned their hopes in him.
"I have many things to be thankful for today. My beautiful family, my beautiful friends and the opportunity to serve as the chief of police of the City and County of Honolulu," said Chief Kealoha.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann acknowledged the tough road ahead, especially with budget problems and he says he's willing to work together.
"I want Chief Kealoha to know my administration stands ready to support his efforts. He brings with him energy, optimism, hope and a plan to make our police department even better," said Mayor Hannemann during the ceremony.
Chief Kealoha has a five year plan to restructure the department, improve officer morale and strengthen community service. Today he would not offer further details concentrating instead on the ceremony.
"It feels good. I'm ready to work. The phone calls and emails are trickling so now I'm ready to get to work," said Kealoha.
"Family and friends are his first priority and I have to say all of the officers at HPD are included in his term as family. This is a very exciting day for him and I know he'll do a great job," said Kathy Kealoha, spouse.
Three top deputy and assistant chiefs have now resigned. The chair of the police commission says it was not some sort of statement or protest instead saying they were appointed positions and they will let Kealoha choose his own deputy and assistant chiefs.