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Another HPD commander prepares to leave as search for police chief drags on

There’s another major leadership change at the Honolulu Police Department as the search for a new chief drags on and crime is on the rise.
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 5:40 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:55 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There’s another major leadership change at the Honolulu Police Department as the search for a new chief drags on and crime is on the rise.

The department’s third-in-command, acting Deputy Chief Lisa Mann, will retire June 1.

She’s a 32-year veteran of the force, and her departure is the latest in a leadership shake-up that’s raising questions about the agency’s effectiveness.

Chief Susan Ballard announced that she was leaving one year ago, after receiving some bad marks from the police commission.

Former HPD deputy Chiefs John McCarthy and Jonathon Grems also left within months of each other.

And Assistant Chief Allan Nagata retired last year, too.

Interim Chief Rade Vanic is no longer seeking the permanent job at the top.

All this means more changes are coming when the police commission finally picks a chief.

“It’s taking a very long time,” said University of Hawaii Criminology Professor Meda Chesney-Lind, who is critical of the time the Honolulu Police Commission took just to hire a consultant ― six months.

They took months more to narrow down the list of candidates from 12 to eight.

The latest announcement by Mann comes as Honolulu is now experiencing a spike in homicides. In the first four months of this year, there have been 13 murders compared to 19 in all of 2020.

The number for 2021 has not been released yet.

In 2019 and 2018, there were 24 total murders reported.

If the current trend continues, Oahu could end up with nearly 40.

Chesney-Lind said stability at the top will help the department better focus on problem spots.

“That requires a leadership,” she said, “They need to engage with the community.”

The eight semi-finalists for the chief’s position will have another assessment scheduled for mid-May, and a list of finalists should be announced shortly after that.

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