Public opinion weighed as search for Maui’s next police chief begins

Published: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:18 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 10:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The search is on for Maui’s next top cop.

Applications are being accepted for the Valley Isle’s next police chief. Island residents say values of honesty and transparency should be key in the search.

Susan Inamasu of Kahului added that she wants to see a leader who is compassionate.

“Just someone who really cares about all of us local people, as well as the tourists,” she said.

Maui Police Commissioner Mark Redeker — who shared his personal thoughts and did not speak on behalf of the commission — said he would like to see someone who is honest, transparent, and who treats everyone with respect and fairness.

“The police commission is going to hold any new chief to a much higher standard than the old chief or any other chief we’ve had,” said Redeker.

The position will oversee 319 sworn personnel and 108 unsworn civil service employees. It pays $158,000 a year.

Redeker encourages the public to testify at the next police commission meeting on June 16 at 2 p.m. via BlueJeans.

“We do listen to that. The nine commission members do listen to what people have to say and we will be making a decision,” Redeker said.

Former Maui Police Chief Tom Phillips says the job is very complex.

“Maui is very, very unique. There are very few agencies around the country like us because we’re a multi-island jurisdiction,” said Phillips.

Phillips served 33 years in the department and was the officer in charge for 11 years before retiring in 2009.

He says on top of kindness, honesty, transparency and fairness – recruiting, balancing the budget, and being a good leader are equally important.

“Good leadership skills may be a hard one because people can talk a good story but can they do it?” Phillips said.

Applications will be accepted until July 12.

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