Who sits on the Honolulu Police Commission? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Who sits on the Honolulu Police Commission?

There’s a graphic designer, an accountant, and several tourism executives on the seven-member Honolulu Police Commission. There’s even a household name – Eddie Flores, Jr., the president and chief executive officer of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.

The diverse mix of people on the commission is attributed in part to the city’s commitment to a commission made up of regular citizens, not law enforcement professionals or lawyers.

Commission chairman Ronald Taketa said in the body’s most recent annual report that “civilian oversight of the police chief’s performance ... is meant to reflect the general population’s sentiments regarding the governance of their own police department, and to remove the department from political influences.”

Commission members are appointed by the sitting mayor, and confirmed by the City Council.

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, spokesman for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, said the mayor has appointed just one commission member since taking office: Caldwell re-appointed Marc C. Tilker, a president and CEO of Marathon Group, a diversified holding company.

Here’s a look at the biographies of Honolulu's seven police commissioners:

  • Ronald I. Taketa

Taketa, chairman of the commission, is the executive secretary/treasurer of the Hawaii Carpenters Union. Former Mayor Peter Carlisle appointed Taketa, and his term runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

Taketa went to Roosevelt High School, and graduated with a bachelor’s in education from the University of Hawaii in 1971.

In 2011, in documents presented to the City Council, Taketa said he his role on the commission will include: a “review of HPD budget, make decisions on citizen complaints, determine whether legal counsel requests should be granted, appoint chief of police and do annual evaluation on performance.”

The City Council unanimously approved Taketa’s appointment.

  • Cha (Charlene Mae) Thompson

Thompson, vice chairwoman of the commission, is chief executive officer of Tihati Productions, an entertainment company.  

Thompson graduated from Farrington High School, and got her bachelor’s degree in judicial administration from Hawaii Pacific University.

In documents filed with the City Council, Thompson described herself as a choreographer and director of Polynesian shows. She also noted that she had previously served on the Hawaii Tourism Authority Board, and was president of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association.

Before being appointed to the commission in 2012 by Mayor Peter Carlisle, Thompson had previously served an eight-year stint on the board, which wrapped up in 2006.

  • Helen H. Hamada

Hamada, a graphic designer at Kapiolani Community College, graduated from Kaimuki High School and got her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Hawaii.

In documents provided to the City Council, she said she had also served on the board for the Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, and on several union boards.

Hamada was appointed by Mayor Mufi Hannemann in 2008, and re-appointed in 2010. The City Council unanimously approved of her appointment.

  • Max Sword

Sword is the vice president of industry affairs at Outrigger Enterprises Group, and attended Punahou School and Peru State College in Nebraska.

Sword told the City Council in 2011, when he was appointed to the commission, that his job on the body would be to “be the bridge between the general public and HPD, to work with the HPD chief to better HPD, and to evaluate the work of the chief.”

Sword has served on several nonprofit and government boards, including the Judicial Selection Commission, the Legislative Salary Commission, and the Honolulu City Council Reapportionment Commission.

His term on the commission ends Dec. 31.

  • Eddie Flores, Jr.

Flores, the CEO of L&L, got his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii, and a master’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Oklahoma.

Flores was first appointed to the commission by Hannemann in 2010 for a partial term, then reappointed in 2012 by Carlisle for a full term.

The Council voted unanimously in favor of his appointment. His term ends Dec. 31, 2017.

  • Luella T. Costales

Costales, appointed by Carlisle in 2012, is principal of High Standard Hawaii, LLC, a marketing and consulting firm.

She was previously executive director of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, director of development for the University of Hawaii Foundation, and executive director of the Filipino Community Center.

Costales got her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at San Diego, and has also served on the Mililani Mauka/Launani Valley Neighborhood Board.

In documents filed with the City Council, she said her role on the police commission was to “provide oversight of the conduct and matters involving the Honolulu Police Department through a fair complaint procedure, in order to promote mutual trust and respect between HPD and the public.”

The council confirmed her appointment unanimously.

  • Marc C. Tilker

Tilker, the president and CEO of Marathon Group, got his bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Villanova University.

In documents provided to the City Council, Tilker said the Marathon Group of companies includes: BEI Hawaii, a distributor of industrial chemicals and fertilizers; HT&T Hawaii, the state’s largest heavy and medium-duty truck dealer; and BEI Consulting, a management and information technology company.

Tilker also serves on a number of nonprofit boards, and was previously chairman of the Honolulu Police Commission.

His appointment was confirmed unanimously by the council.

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