Survey on Correa's leadership as reappointment talks loom

Tenari Maafala
Tenari Maafala

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Within the next several months, the Honolulu Police Commission is expected to decide whether to keep Boisse Correa as the city's top cop or search for a new leader. So right now, the union representing police officers wants to know how satisfied they are with their chief.

The chief's current five-year term will end in August. The union says while Correa has been at the helm, officer morale has plummeted.

The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, which represents about 1,900 of Honolulu's finest, says the public should be concerned about officer morale.

"If you've got officers who are not feeling good about coming to work, yes, it puts the community's safety in jeopardy," Tenari Maafala, SHOPO President, said.

KHNL and K5 News obtained a copy of a survey being distributed to officers on Oahu. Among the questions from the union -- is Chief Boisse Correa fair in dealing with officers, does he live up to his word, and do you wish you had a different chief?

"I'm going on 21 years of service as a police officer," Maafala said. "And this has been the lowest as far as morale overall that I've seen."

SHOPO conducted a similar survey in 2005, one year into Correa's term as chief. At that time, 78% of officers who responded said they always, or almost always, wish they had a different leader.

As for the new survey, the chief said, "Many officers have approached me questioning the timing and nature of SHOPO's survey. I have not seen it."

"Such a survey could be divisive at a time when the community needs HPD to work together," Correa continued. "I have always valued our hardworking employees and remain open to hearing their concerns."

"Chief's gotta realize that this is not personal," Maafala said. "It's strictly a business thing."

The union says it will present the results to the police commission, which is expected to discuss Correa's re-appointment in the next several months.

"Crime rate is going to go up and you need officers to be proactive," Maafala said. "You need officers to be enthusiastic about their job."

The union expects to have survey results next week Friday.