Honolulu Police Commission seeks public input on 7 finalists for HPD chief

Honolulu Police Commission seeks public input on 7 finalists for HPD chief

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police commissioners are meeting Wednesday afternoon to take public testimony on the seven finalists they are considering to become the next Honolulu Police Chief.

The candidates are: former federal agent Tommy Aiu; retired Major Kurt Kendro; retired Pennsylvania State Police Officer Mark Lomax; retired HPD acting chief Paul Putzulu; current HPD Major Sue Ballard; retired HPD Assistant Chief Kevin Lima and Arlington Police Department Assistant Chief Jim Lowrey.

A mainland consulting firm ranking the nine semifinalists using an assessment panel with testing that included written exams, rigorous scenarios and even simulated news conferences. The top seven finalists were chosen for the next round which will require interviews, along with psychological and physical examinations.

The Commission is tasked with replacing former Police Chief Louis Kealoha, who agreed to retire amid a federal corruption probe.

The process has faced delays -- prompted in part by one consulting firm backing out and a failed attempt to create a citizen's selection panel. More recent criticism has threatened to further derail hiring the department's next chief. Just last week Commissioner Luella Costales resigned after raising concerns about a lack of diversity with the mainland consultant group that initially cut the qualified candidates list from 24 to 9.

Public testimony starts at 2 p.m. Wednesday at HPD Headquarters on Beretania Street in the first-floor conference room A.

Commissioners say a new chief should be named by the end of October.

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