Hunt for the next police chief continues as finalists endure interview round

Updated: Oct. 24, 2017 at 7:21 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three more finalists vying for the position of Honolulu's next police chief were grilled by the Honolulu Police Commission Tuesday.

In a round of individual two-hour interviews, a four-person panel vetted Maj. Susan Ballard, retired Maj. Kurt Kendro and retired Assistant Chief Kevin Lima's qualifications for the position.

The three are among seven finalists hoping to succeed ex-chief Louis Kealoha, who was arrested by federal authorities Friday after a three-year corruption investigation.

"I want to rebuild the trust with the community and also with the officers. As I told them in there, as an active officer, I have a leg up because the officers currently there know me and know what to expect from me and they know how I am," candidate finalist Maj. Susan Ballard said.

On Monday, retired DEA agent Thomas Aiu and retired HPD Deputy Chief Paul Putzulu underwent their individual interviews.

On Wednesday, the commission is expected to wrap up interviews with two finalists from the mainland: Jim Lowery and Mark Lomax.

Lowery comes from Arlington, Texas, as the deputy police chief, and Lomax is a retired Pennsylvania State Police major.

Honolulu's Police Commission Chairman Max Sword said last week he was optimistic the selection panel would announce their selection of the new chief by the end of the October.

Acting Police Chief Cary Okimoto originally intended to retire at the end of the October, but delayed his departure citing "possible delays in the selection of the new chief."

Okimoto will now retire at the end of November, well after the selection of the new chief is expected to be announced.

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