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StarBulletin.com

Correa should work for officers' support


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POSTED: Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Boisse Correa has won no popularity contests among Honolulu police officers since he became chief in 2004, but our police chiefs are not elected by the rank and file. The Honolulu Police Commission shouldn't rely on officers' beefs to decide whether to appoint Correa to a second five-year term in August, but Correa shouldn't ignore the officers' no-confidence sentiment.

Correa had been on the job for not much more than a year when a survey of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, the officers' union, complained that officers being disciplined had their police powers taken away pending investigations. The survey showed that 78 percent of the officers wanted a new chief.

Correa responded that he did not expect all SHOPO members to agree with all his decisions, and that his responsibility is “;to work with our employees to provide our community with the highest level of police service possible.”; SHOPO President Tenari Maafala says more of the union's membership wants a new chief than in the 2005 survey.

Last December, 500 Honolulu police officers and their supporters rallied to protest Correa's use of the policy that takes away police powers from an officer accused of wrongdoing. One veteran officer said he now has to second-guess his own judgment instead of acting on instinct in risky situations.

The Police Commission has given Correa high marks for the reduction of crime, response time and technology performance, but the chief also should make an effort to gain the support of his troops.