Honolulu Police Commission plans to hire consulting firm to replace Chief Ballard

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Police Commission is moving forward to find a new HPD chief after Susan Ballard’s surprise announcement to retire on June 1.

The commission says it will be hiring a consulting firm to help find the best candidate.

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The next step is finding an interim chief to replace Ballard when she steps down. Commission Chairwoman Shannon Alivado says she’s trying to schedule an earlier meeting than the one scheduled next week Wednesday to get that done.

The commission just announced that a meeting will be held next Monday, and they will ask Ballard for some feedback.

“To see what her thoughts may be with respect to naming an interim or acting chief. But also just talking among the commission members and getting feedback from the members of the public and maybe officers,” said Alivado.

The commission also needs to put together a set of rules on how the permanent chief will be selected. But first the commission needs to agree on a consulting firm to help with the search.

“We want to avoid any type of delays, so that’s something I’d be looking forward to,” said Alivado. “Just looking at the staff, maybe of the Honolulu Police Commission, is the right resource because they have been through it before with previous selections of chiefs.”

There were delays when the commission hired a firm four years ago, which then backed out, so the commission had to find a new one. It took seven months to eventually select Ballard.

As for qualifications, candidates need at least five years of law enforcement experience and three years in an administrative capacity. Alivado said she would like someone open and willing to communicate with the public regularly.

“The leader would have to be flexible, be able to respond to crises when there is a crisis, and also assure the public that their community is safe, that their community is one that they’re looking out for,” she said.

Ballard announced her retirement two days after getting negative reviews from the commission. KHON2 asked Alivado if in hindsight, would the commission have done anything differently?

“I don’t think we would have done anything differently,” said Alivado. “It’s about gathering information. I think one thing we would have wanted to do was talk to the chief before she made the decision.”

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