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Police Commission holding special meeting to discuss police chief vacancy

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The Hawai‘i County Police Commission has scheduled a special meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday to continue discussing the applicants for police chief.

The meeting will be held online via Zoom.

Paul Ferreira retired as Hawai’i County’s police chief on Sept. 1. Deputy Chief Kenneth Bugado Jr. is serving as interim chief while the Commission works to fill the position.

During the commission’s last meeting on Oct. 21, the pool of 44 applicants for chief was whittled down to 21.

The Hawaiʻi County Police Commission whittled the candidates for police chief from 44 to 21 during its last meeting on Oct. 21. Photo Credit: Nathan Christophel/Big Island Now
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On Monday, the Commission’s secretary Charisse Correa said in an email that the finalists have not yet been determined and all applicants’ identities are still not known to the Commission.

Commissioners elected not to know the names of the candidates during the initial application process to avoid the appearance of potential bias.

“Once the finalists are determined and their identities unmasked, the Commission will communicate with them to request their identities be disclosed publicly,” Correa stated in her email Monday. “Once permission is obtained, we will gladly share the names of all the finalists.”

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Public testimony will be allowed at this week’s meeting. Anyone wishing to testify orally online via Zoom must sign up by Wednesday at noon by contacting Correa at 808-932-2950 or [email protected].

Additionally, the commission will schedule a public testimony meeting after the finalists are identified to seek community input.

Join Thursday’s meeting here. The meeting ID is 160 420 3964 and the passcode is 376102.

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As long as there is a quorum of five, the next regular Police Commission meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18 at the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, Building A Council Chambers in Kona.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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