Three police chief finalists appear before commission on second day of interviews

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Interviews continued Tuesday with three more candidates vying to lead the state’s largest police department.

First up, Maj. Kurt Kendro, who retired in 2016.

Kendro, who once led the traffic division, has received the most letters of recommendation from community members.

Next was Maj. Susan Ballard, the only current officer in HPD.

“It was very informative. I think it went okay,” said Ballard of her interview.

Ballard said she was disappointed after several officers, along with former chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, were indicted last week on conspiracy charges.

“I was not involved in this administration whatsoever. I was very marginalized, because I was very vocal,” she said.

“My integrity and ethics, there is no way I would allow that to happen. And my friends, if they’re actually put in a position, they know they’re going to have to work harder than anybody else to prove themselves because they’re my friends,” Ballard added. “People will not be promoted because they’re friends. They’ll be promoted for their competency, and as long as you put competent people in place, this shouldn’t happen.”

The final finalist for the day was Kevin Lima, a retired HPD assistant chief who once led the narcotics division.

“It went well, thank you,” said Lima after leaving the interview room.

Lima says the commissioners asked thorough questions.

“They’re looking for issues and concerns they should be aware of. They did their due diligence. They should be commended, because they’re volunteers,” he said.

When asked why he wants to come out of retirement to lead the department, Lima replied, “The department needs a strong advocate for our officers and civilian staff. I think a lot negative media has come out lately, and the vast majority of officers do excellent work every day, but aren’t recognized. They’re forgotten. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to advocate for them.”

The final two candidates meeting with commissioners Wednesday are retired Pennsylvania Police Department Maj. Mark Lomax and James Lowery, current deputy chief at Arlington Police Department in Texas.

The commission is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon.

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