Commission praises police chief
By NANCY COOK LAUER
Four years into the job, Police Chief Harry Kubojiri continues to get rave reviews from the Hawaii County Police Commission.
The commission, in an annual evaluation signed Friday, praised the chief for professionalism, for getting the department accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, for setting a positive tone at the top and for enhanced communication with the public.
“The chief is an honorable and caring person capable of leading HPD for years to come,” concluded the four-page evaluation signed by both the past commission chairman, Kenneth Ono, and the current chairman, Leroy Victorine. “The commission believes Police Chief Harry Kubojiri has met the majority of his goals and has continued to increase the professionalism and the morale of the Police Department.”
Kubojiri, who took over as chief in December 2008 after almost 30 years in the department, manages a department that has a $54 million annual budget and 722 civilian and sworn positions.
The commission in particular pointed to Kubojiri’s proactive approach in addressing the South Kona crime spree last year. The Police Department attended community meetings and helped calm a jittery public, ultimately succeeding in ending the spree and arresting suspects.
“Problems were readily admitted by HPD; this added to the community trust,” the evaluation said.
One area singled out for improvement is getting the department’s message of respect and aloha down to the rank and file. Suggestions included increasing “aloha training” among officers and teaching them to smile more often. Commissioners also noted they find the chief to be “shy.”
The commission regularly sees a parade of complainants at its meetings, with people complaining about officers being arrogant and rude, using unnecessary force, yelling at people reporting crimes, profiling and harassing certain residents and throwing suspects in the mud.
“One commissioner noted that it appears at times the rank and file do not get the message from the top, especially about contact with the public,” the evaluation said. “There is still a need to treat the public better.”
But disciplinary actions against police officers by the police administration were significantly down in 2012, according to the annual report the department is required to file with the state Legislature.
Last year, there were just 25 reported infractions, resulting in suspensions of one to 10 days, and two criminal acts, resulting in one 15-day suspension and one termination, according to the report. In 2011, there were 43 infractions, including five listed offenses resulting in termination.
“I think evaluations are always a good thing, because it gives you an idea where you can improve,” Kubojiri said.
Email Nancy Cook Lauer at email@example.com.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.