Priority no. 1 for new emergency management head: Rebuild public trust

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The newly-appointed head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says he'll work to rebuild public trust in the wake of January's false missile alert.

"It's been about the relationship with the community," said retired U.S. Navy Capt. Thomas Travis, at a news conference Friday.

He added that he intends to regain the public's confidence by doing "our job every day."

"Communication is key. If we do our job the best we can, my experience is they'll respect that and it will work alright."

Travis replaces interim administrator Brig. Gen. Moses Kaoiwi Jr., who took over after former administrator Vern Miyagi resigned following an investigation into the bogus missile alert.

Brig. Gen. Kaoiwi will remain in his role of interim administrator while overseeing the transition phase.

Travis is a former national security analyst and contributing author and senior editor of foundational studies on Operation Iraqi Freedom and the U.S. Government response to Hurricane Katrina.

He was selected from a pool of 10 candidates to head Hawaii's emergency management agency.

In the wake of the false missile alert on Jan. 13, investigations blamed the so-called "button pusher" and a leadership failure by top agency managers at the time — Miyagi and Executive Officer Toby Clairmont. Clairmont has also since resigned.

On the day of his resignation, Miyagi reminded residents to "have a plan" and "be safe."

This story will be updated.  

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