Some council members feel mayor should have power to appoint, fire police chief

(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
Updated: Aug. 22, 2017 at 9:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the search for a permanent Honolulu Police Chief continues, some city leaders think the mayor should be given more power to decide who will fill the spot.

At a public safety committee hearing Tuesday, Councilman Ikaika Anderson said he's long believed the Mayor should have the right to hire and fire the police chief.

"I can't believe that the current situation that's occurred at the police department would've been allowed to occur under any mayor. I think a mayor would've stepped in and done whatever needed to be done," Anderson said.

Currently, the power to select a police chief falls with the Honolulu Police Commission.

"In this instance, all the mayor can do is throw up his or her hands and say, 'Well, there's the Honolulu Police Commission that deals with that particular issue," Anderson added.

Council chairman Ernie Martin agreed, saying in other cities like Minneapolis, the mayor replaced a chief in a matter of days.

Anderson said he was hopeful a charter amended to give the mayor that power would be brought to the table in the near future

During the hearing, the panel also urged the commission to look within the department to find the next leader.

The police commission says they are going through some 30 applicants and expects to have a selection sometime in October.

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