HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 35 years in the Maui Police Department and six years leading it, Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu got emotional on his last day.
“Thank you for taking the time to attend this change of command for my last day as the chief of police,” Faaumu said fighting back tears.
Faaumu saluted his officers one final time during a permitted ceremony in front of the MPD headquarters Friday afternoon.
He says he is grateful to have been their leader.
“After over 35 years, incredible years and then six and a half years as your chief, I’m eternally grateful for the law enforcement career I had,” said Faaumu.
“Especially having the opportunity to serve you as your chief, I have enjoyed every moment of it.”
Faaumu began his career with MPD in 1985, becoming the department’s first Tongan-Samoan police officer.
He rose through the ranks and was selected as chief in 2014.
“He has been a progressive leader that has thought outside the box to bring what is best to the community of Maui. Through his leadership, the Maui Police Department has flourished,” said Lt. Audra Sellers.
Faaumu served in the United States Army for 31 years. He graduated from the FBI National Academy and earned his master’s degree in homeland security.
He has commanded more than 400 officers and civilian personnel.
“Your chief has shown the willingness to listen, to bring transparency to the Maui Police Department,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino.
One incident at the end of his career threatens to tarnish his reputation.
Last year, the chief was seen on camera at the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center reversing into a parked motorcycle and driving away.
There is still an ongoing investigation into that hit-an-run incident.
The chief said the incident has nothing to do with his decision to retire.
Faaumu said retirement will allow him to spend more time with his family.