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Chief Concerns

HONOLULU sits down with HPD’s new chief, Louis Kealoha, and takes a look at crime and law enforcement in the city today.


(page 3 of 4)


Value of livestock stolen on Oahu, 2008.


Value of livestock recovered, 2008.

In your five-year plan, you mention implementing intelligence-led policing. What does that mean?

A: The theory is that you get in information, it goes to a certain element in the department, they analyze that information, and it then becomes intelligence. Based on that intelligence, we will distribute it to the responsible divisions. Whoever receives the information can use that to deploy their resources.

How is that different from what’s being done now?

A: As in many organizations, information isn’t always collected, analyzed or shared between units efficiently. Intelligence-led policing will help us to compile and use intelligence more effectively.

Your five-year plan calls for a closer partnership with the Pacific Regional Intelligence Clearinghouse, Hawaii’s Fusion Center. Could you explain what that would entail?

A: The center’s mission is to facilitate the collection and dissemination of critical threat information to agencies entrusted with ensuring public safety. We have a lot of federal partners, and what it will look like is that one of our personnel will staff the Fusion Center with a lot of the different agencies, including the Honolulu Fire Department, the Emergency Management Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

HPD at a glance

1,980 officers
498 civilian employees

(As of April 30, 2010)


Number of citizens per uniformed officer (State total):

Vermont: 391 (most heavily policed state.
Hawaii: 789 (12th most heavily policed)
California: 11,143 (least heavily policed)

Are they looking at the issue of terrorism?

A: Absolutely. Terrorism, narcotics, even gang activity. We’re looking at all that, on  national and global levels.

How interconnected is Hawaii to larger enforcement issues on the Mainland? Are there a lot of ties between criminal activities on the Mainland and in Hawaii?

A: I don’t know about a lot, but definitely a lot of what is happening here is tied to what’s happening there. Drug trafficking, terrorism. The world is smaller, because of all the technology, and we’re definitely more connected.

Christine Camp, chair of the Honolulu Police Commission, has expressed concern that your five-year plan doesn’t specifically target abuses of power and corruption within the department. What’s your response?

A: A strategy is just that. It doesn’t include everything that HPD does. This is just a framework. If you look at the plan, it’s fairly compact. We didn’t want it to be redundant, to mention things that are mentioned in our annual report, or our normal policies and procedures. We already have, in our policies and procedures, things that address police corruption. What’s included in this five-year-plan are strategies for change, to move the department in a direction we want to take it. Corruption isn’t in here, because we talk about it in other documents.

Speaking with neighborhood board chairs, I’ve repeatedly heard requests for better communication with the police department. How could that be accomplished?

A: One way to better communicate is through our website. The second thing is that myself and the two deputy chiefs have been going out and meeting with the neighborhood security watches and boards. We’re also recruiting more participation from our communities, developing more neighborhood security watches and strengthening relationships in that way. Last year, in Wahiawā, we created 250 new watches.

But it can’t just be one way. It’s an open communication; it’s a partnership with everybody. Another thing we’re doing to improve communication is looking at creating an online reporting site. Sometimes a community member doesn’t always want to get on the phone to make a 911 call for a nonemergency situation, so they can visit the website, submit a report online and we can take it from there.

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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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