Honolulu City Council advances police commission nominee

Ann Botticelli
Ann Botticelli(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council held a hearing Wednesday night to advance a former communications executive as the next police commissioner.

Ann Botticelli was Mayor Rick Blangiardi’s third appointee to the empty seat after his first two nominees were unsuccessful.

She has previously worked as a journalist and airline, education, public relations and nonprofit executive.

While many who testified during the hearing praised Botticelli’s background and work ethic, some questioned a lack of diversity on the commission.

“While city council may be more diverse, the commission has been mostly white, East Asian and affluent — unified most significantly by our connection to our mayor,” said Lesley Gabrielle, who testified. “This is in stark contrast to those most impacted by policing.”

If approved by the full council, one of Botticelli’s first tasks on the commission will be to hire a new chief of police.

”It is clear to us that the HPD has a trust issue with our community,” Botticelli said.

“The most critical job for the commission right now is finding the next chief. We need to find a proven leader who is willing to look beyond a single incident address whether or not there is a systemic problem — and if there is one, fix it.”

Meanwhile, the search for a new chief is stalled due to a lack of applicants to hire a search consultant and a psychologist willing to manage the process.

That would mean the commission would have to vet two dozen candidates without professional help.

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