4 finalists for HPD chief take viewer questions on public affairs show

The four finalists for Honolulu police chief answered questions from the public Thursday night on PBS Hawaii.
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 5:05 PM HST|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 9:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The four finalists for Honolulu police chief answered questions from the public Thursday night on PBS Hawaii.

In an unusual forum, the finalists for the job took viewer questions live on a PBS Hawaii public affairs show called “Insights,” a weekly show with each episode addressing a different topic.

A moderator and several live guests took questions and comments from viewers.

Insights on PBS Hawaii
Insights on PBS Hawaii(None)

During the show, HPD Maj. Mike Lambert said he wants to develop a new disciplinary matrix modeled after the NYPD.

“For New York to be able to discipline in a fair and consistent manner, they use a matrix meaning that this is the allegation, this is what you get, it doesn’t matter who you are, who you know, if you’re my best friend, this is what your gonna get,” Lambert said.

Former New Jersey State Police Lt. Col. Scott Ebner said as an outsider, he has an advantage in objectively creating systems to restore trust.

“I know first hand how to build policies, how to develop policies, warning systems for use of force, for just complaints. That’s something that needs to happen here,” Ebner said.

Arthur “Joe” Logan is a retired major general, who now works at the state Attorney General’s Office. Logan wants to improve HPD’s relationship with the media and learn from critical reports.

“Let’s find out where we’re not doing the right thing, where we aren’t improving and where we are creating a safe and secure Honolulu. And then figuring out how to fix that,” Logan said.

HPD Maj. Benjamin Moszkowicz is currently in leadership training with the FBI. He said he would make officers’ mental health a priority.

“The department can move mountains if that’s what we want to do. Under my administration you’ll see the creation of a wellness unit and that wellness unit is gonna report directly to the chief’s office,” Moszkowicz said.

It’s been nearly a year since former HPD Chief Susan Ballard retired unexpectedly.

The public has one more chance to testify on Monday before the police commission chooses the new chief.

The candidates are:

  • Scott Ebner, of New Jersey, a retired lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police.
  • Maj. Mike Lambert, head of HPD’s Training Division.
  • Arthur “Joe” Logan is an investigator with the state Attorney General’s Office. He was the head of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency prior to joining the AG’s office.
  • Maj. Benjamin Moszkowicz is the head of HPD’s Training Division.

The Honolulu Police commission approached PBS to do the show, which will allow the public to join the conversation through email, social media or by calling in.

“Insights is a conversation really and that’s really important for folks to understand,” said Ron Mizutani, president and CEO of PBS Hawaii. “We’re not here to debate, we’re not here to have a candidate speak against each other.”

“We’re beefing up our team, not only in studio, but also in the phone bank,” he said.

Chuck Parker, vice president of Content for PBS Hawaii, said those answering the phone lines will type the question and then email it to the person working the front desk who will print it and take the printed version to the studio. The moderator then reads the question to the guests.

Parker said not all questions will make it due to time but they’ll work to get as many asked as possible.

The commissioners will not be a part of the program.

Parker suggests viewers keep the questions short and to the point because long emails can be difficult for the moderator to read on live television.

The candidates for chief were not be prepped or rehearse.

The search for HPD’s next leader has taken nearly a year and with so much controversy surrounding the department in recent years.

PBS Hawaii is taking email questions at insights@pbshawaii.org.

Once the show starts, viewers can join in by calling the following numbers:

  • Oahu - 808-462-5000
  • Neighbor Islands - 1-800-238-4847

You can also use the livestream on PBS Hawaii’s Facebook page.

There is another opportunity for input on May 23, but the Honolulu Police Commission has not provided details on that event.

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