HONOLULU (KHON2) — The hunt for a new police chief officially starts in June, following the retirement of Chief Susan Ballard.
Interim Chief Rade Vanic expressed his desire to reinstate programs to help at-risk youth on Wednesday, May 19.
Both were topics discussed during the Honolulu Police Commission meeting Wednesday.
The Commission appointed Vanic as interim police chief on Wednesday, May 5. He will serve as acting chief until the hiring process is complete.
According to Honolulu Police Commission executive officer James Yuen, the application period will run for 30 days from Tuesday, June 1, through Wednesday, June 30.
Police Commissioner Shannon Alivado says they are looking for diversity in culture in addition to a number of other requirements. They also want feedback from the community.
“I think what the public may not understand is that this vacancy announcement isn’t the end all scope that we are looking for in this applicant,” Alivado explained. “It’s really what the consultant puts forward, what the consultant presents after getting feedback from the community members, stakeholders that we identify and then looking at the applicant and seeing whether the applicant qualifies, meeting the criteria.”
In light of the police-involved shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap on Monday, April 5, Vanic said he hopes to reinstate HPD programs to get back into the community to engage with at-risk youth.
“It’s so important that we start at an early age being positive mentors to the youth,” Vanic said. “Because if we get them at an early age and we’re providing them with these opportunities, it keeps them from veering down the wrong path and getting involved with things that can get them into trouble.”
All of the youth-related programs were halted due to COVID-19.
Vanic says he is also working with Micronesian community leaders and wants to encourage more individuals from their community to join the force.
“We definitely want to see more people of Micronesian ancestry within our department,” Vanic said. “We do have a small number, but we really do want to have more because when we have more people of Micronesian ancestry in our department that gives us greater diversity and we can learn from them. We can make sure that we’re out there servicing their community as best we can.”