Sunday | December 10, 2017
About Us | Contact | Subscribe

Ferreira tapped as police chief

Hawaii County will have a new top cop later this month.

The county Police Commission unanimously selected Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira on Thursday to succeed his boss, Chief Harry Kubojiri.

Ferreira, who started as a patrol officer in Puna in 1982, will take over Dec. 31.

“I’m very glad, I’m elated to be appointed as the next police chief,” he said after the meeting.

“I have a tremendous job to fill by my predecessor, Chief Harry Kubojiri. Looking forward, the community can be rest assured our department will be run efficiently going forward.”

Ferreira, 58, was the only candidate of the 13 applicants to be interviewed. No other candidates met the minimum qualifications, according to the Department of Human Resources.

The nine-member commission interviewed him for about an hour in executive session, which is closed to the public. The members voted in open session after deliberating.

“I promise I will not let you down, and more importantly, I promise I will not let the community down,” Ferreira told the commissioners.

Kubojiri and Lincoln Ashida, a former deputy prosecuting attorney and former county corporation counsel, testified in his favor.

Kubojiri said hiring Ferreira as deputy eight years ago was a clear decision.

“He’s the brainchild behind my administration,” he said.

Ferreira said he has not chosen a deputy yet because he didn’t want to presume he had the job.

He said he is not planning any major changes to the department, but noted it will continue to pursue implementation of body cameras for its officers.

“I think what they’ve shown across the nation is the cameras make both sides of the equation respond differently, the officers as well as the members of the community,” Ferreira said.

He added: “The body-worn camera is not a fix-all. It’s just another tool for law enforcement and for the community to see what’s happening. Because a camera will not necessarily capture everything being seen by the officer or everything that’s going on.”

Ferreira said a pilot program was done and a “lot of officers that were participating in it did support it.”

A representative of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers couldn’t be reached for comment by deadline.

Ferreira said a misconception of the application process was that there aren’t other members of the department qualified for the job. He said none of the other applicants came from within the department.

“All of the members of the command staff in the Police Department are qualified for the position,” Ferreira said.

“…We have some exceptional administrators in the Police Department who I will need their support to ensure we continue to do the job we are doing.”

The minimum requirements for the job included being a Hawaii resident for one year, at least five years in law enforcement, including three in an administrative capacity with a ranking of captain or higher, in addition to other qualifications, according to the job posting.

The position pays $130,818 a year.

Email Tom Callis at


Rules for posting comments