HPD'S 154TH CLASS
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Charles Moose, the former Maryland police chief who gained recognition after leading the 2002 Beltway sniper manhunt that resulted in two arrests, received a lei last night after graduating with the 154th Honolulu Police Department class at Farrington High School. CLICK FOR LARGE
Moose joins HPD
The veteran of the D.C. sniper manhunt starts from scratch
A former Maryland police chief who headed the 2002 Washington, D.C.-area sniper manhunt graduated last night as one of 40 new Honolulu police recruits.
Charles Moose will hit Honolulu streets at 6 a.m. Monday on patrol duty with a veteran officer in the field. Being in patrol is something he has not done since he was promoted to sergeant in 1980.
"It's been a long time since I've worked the street ... but it's exactly what I want to do over the next several years," he said, adding he looks forward to meeting and helping people.
He underwent the grueling physical rigors of the Honolulu Police Department's Training Academy and graduated in a ceremony at Farrington High School last night with a group of mostly young men and women.
Moose, whose face became known to the nation from daily news conferences during those three weeks in October 2002, maintained a low profile and declined interviews throughout his training. But he broke that silence last night.
"The physical part was very challenging, but I actually got better," the 53-year-old said. "So the training actually works. It got an old guy into shape.
"I did lose weight, but I'm ashamed to say how much," said Moose, whose face is noticeably thinner than the one TV audiences grew to know.
His wife, Sandy, pinned the gold police badge on Moose's blue uniform.
When Mayor Mufi Hannemann shared the words of his father, "Remember, you know nothing," to the graduating class, that did not apply to Moose. He earned a bachelor's degree in U.S. history in 1975 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a master's degree in public administration and a doctorate in urban studies and criminology from Portland State University. He also graduated from the FBI National Academy.
According to national news articles, Moose left the Montgomery County Police Department after a dispute over plans to write a book about the sniper investigation, eventually penning "Three Weeks in October," published in 2003.
Moose could not have come in at a higher rank, since the Honolulu Police Department does not allow lateral transfers from outside departments, HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu said. The laws, department policies and procedures are different, and anyone entering the department must start as a recruit, she said.
Despite being a veteran high-ranking law enforcement officer, he said that will not pose a problem for him.
"As long as I do my job, it'll work just fine, just like in the academy," he said. "I need to learn how we do it here, and I'm looking forward to it."
Recruit Kawika Hosea, 26, said Moose "had a lot of insights and gave a lot of words of encouragement in the down moments."