The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: Our Interview With Louis Kealoha 9 Years Before He and Katherine Kealoha Are Found Guilty

For 133 years HONOLULU Magazine has kept its readers and advertisers at the vanguard of fashion, insight and fun. Starting out as Paradise of the Pacific in 1888 with a commission from King Kalākaua, we’re the oldest continually publishing magazine west of the Mississippi. Here is a look into our archives in 2010.
HONOLULU sits down with Louis Kealoha just six months after his appointment as O‘ahu’s 10th chief of police


HONOLULU sits down with Louis Kealoha just six months after his appointment as O‘ahu’s 10th chief of police. At the time, the Honolulu Police Department was facing civilian employee furloughs, the legalization of medical marijuana and rising meth use. Kealoha acknowledges that one of the major challenges HPD faces is “maintaining the public’s trust in the police.” When asked for his response to the police commission chairwoman’s concern that his five-year plan doesn’t specifically target abuses of power and corruption in the department, Kealoha says: “If you look at the plan, it’s fairly compact. We didn’t want it to be redundant. … We already have, in our policies and procedures, things that address police corruption.”


Nine years later, Kealoha and his prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha, are found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction and are currently awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors find that the pair had been abusing their power nearly from the get-go, beginning with a $25,000 celebration they threw when Kealoha was named chief. In 2017, Kealoha “retires” with a $250,000 severance package and is replaced by HPD’s first female chief, Susan Ballard. (Maybe those “policies and procedures” should’ve been in the five-year plan, after all.)


history of hawaii magazine covers

Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at


Find more photos from Honolulu’s past every Thursday on Instagram @honolulumag.


Read more stories by Jayna Omaye