Hawai‘i Police Department’s new chief comes aboard in January

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During a special meeting Thursday morning in Hilo, the Hawai‘i County Police Commission appointed Assistant Chief Andrew Burian to serve as acting chief until Benjamin T. Moszkowicz takes his post as the island’s new top cop in January.

Burian’s appointment comes as the current interim chief Kenneth Bugado Jr. is set to retire, effective Dec. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

Bugado is retiring after 33 years of service to the department. He served as Deputy Chief since January 2017, and has been Acting Chief since Chief Paul Ferreira retired on Sept. 1.

Acting Chief Burian will oversee the continuity of operations for administrative and line functions, as well as provide consistent performance and service delivery to the Big Island community during this transition period.


The commission selected Maj. Moszkowicz, a 22-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department, to be the next chief of police earlier this month. He was one of four finalists interviewed by the commission in two public meetings. He is set to be sworn in on Jan. 17.

“I’m very grateful to get [to the Big Island] and get on the job and earn people’s trust,” he said after he learned he was chosen. “I look forward to … getting my feet on the ground and start working.”

Ben Moskowicz

After a nearly six-month process, the commission narrowed the candidate field for police chief from a pool of 44 to four finalists. Other applicants who were interviewed for the job were Kaua‘i Police Capt. Paul N. Applegate, retired FBI Senior Resident Agent Edward G. Ignacio and Maj. Sherry D. Bird, the only internal candidate.


Moszkowicz was selected by a 5-3 vote, with Police Commission Chair John Bertsch having recused himself due to a close relationship with finalist Ignacio.

The next scheduled police commission meeting in Jan. 20.

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